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November 12, 2004

Board of Regents reviews new standards in math, science

New York’s Board of Regents is trying to improve math, science, and technology standards by linking them more directly to course content, students' progress, and students' performance.

The recommendations were released at the board’s November meeting. The current standards have been critized for being too broad and unclear.

The goal of the proposed new standards is to make it easier for teachers to determine what content they should be sure to include, said Margarita Mayo, The Council's education-policy specialist. The language of the new standards is also intended to make expectaions clearer for both parents and teachers.

The standards are also designed to ensure that stduents knowledge and skills grow in a logical progression from one year to the next, Mayo added.

The board also suggested that performance indicators should be based on grade-by-grade levels, rather than on groups of grade levels. Grade-by-grade performance indicators will enable teachers to more easily determine which specific areas of mathematics to focus on and will allow performance indicators to change as knowledge and skill level grow.

The recommendations were developed by a special committee appointed by the board and the state Education Department in 2003. The committee was created based on recommendations of a panel formed to examine problems associated with the June 2003 Math A Regents exam.

The full report is available for public comment at www.nysed.gov. The full Board of Regents has not yet acted on the proposal.