Since it was initially my question that prompted this
discussion of New York State Regents' Exams, I'd like to
clear up one point.  Our problem is that we have students
who must take our placement exams because their SAT scores
are below our cuts (550 verbal, 500 math) and then place
into developmental reading, writing, and/or math.  Then,
they or their parents call us and are upset because the
student passed the Regents' Exams.  Of course, our response
to them is that the Regents' Exams are not relevant for
Towson University.

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my initial question
either on or off-list, but about half of the responses
indicate that these tests are very difficult. Other comments
have included that there has been some "teaching to the
test", that the tests have gone through periods of being
"dumbed down", etc.

If the Regents' exams are just final exams for college-prep
classes, even if they're standardized across the state, then
we are only concerned that the student passed the
high-school requirements for graduation.  I suppose that,
depending on where you live in New York State, the tests may
seem to be either challenging or easy.  Towson University is
located in Baltimore County, Maryland, and the county school
system has standard final exams for 102 high-school
courses.  I'm sure that students from some locations find
these tests harder than other students do.

This is what prompted my question in the first place -- If
the tests are so very difficult, then it seems incongruous
to us that the students' SAT's are below our cut and/or that
they cannot do well on our placement tests (ACT ASSET and
Nelson-Denny).  SAT's, ASSET and Nelson-Denny are already
nationally normed...why have a national "Regents' Exam"?

Thanks again to all who responded.

        Stefanie Hunt

"Helen M. Sabin" wrote:
> The best education my children had was in New York! It is time that all
> high schools have "regent exams."  There have been too many students
> passed upward without having the ability to read and write.  I have a
> student who graduated 10th in her school and she is in my remedial
> reading clases at community college level.  she is "furious" that she
> has to be in this class and does not understand that her high school
> achievement level is way below that of other schools.  Let's us as
> educators push for a national "regent" exam and we will start having
> literate children!
> Helen Sabin