Schreiber decides to administer new global regents

New York State Board of Regents alters Global History Regents Exam

New York State Board of Regents provided a choice for public schools to either adopt a modified test or keep their old test.

New York State Board of Regents provided a choice for public schools to either adopt a modified test or keep their old test.

Asher Charno, Contributing Writer

The New York State Board of Regents recently issued a statement stating they are in the process of making substantial changes to the Global History Regents 2 Exam. 

Until the new exam is implemented during the 2020-2021 school year, the state has provided schools with two options: accept a transitional exam with the old format or just distribute an entirely new exam. 

Schreiber opted to choose the transitional exam and, in early January, sent out an email to all sophomores and their parents about this decision. Thus, sophomore students enrolled in the Global II class will be taking the old style exam at the end of the school year. 

The transitional Global History test will be partially based upon Social Studies Standards from 1996 and the 1998 Social Studies Resource Guide.  The purpose of the exam is to assess the students’ knowledge on the physical geography and historical events of this time frame.  

The format of the exam will be similar to that of the current exam, but the number of multiple choice questions will be reduced from 50 to 30.  Along with that change, the Regents will contain a thematic essay and document-based questions.

“I am not sure what the transitional exam is and what it will be like, but I don’t think it will have an impact on my class, or my grade on the exam.  If the school thinks this version is best for us students, so be it,” said sophomore Max Mallah.

The new Global History and Geography II Regents will be very different from the original.  The first major difference is that it will be based solely upon Global II, as opposed to being based upon the curriculums of both global classes.  

The format of the first part is 28 stimulus-based multiple choice questions.  The second part is made up of what are referred to as “Constructed Response Question Sets” that will be based on two paired documents.  Lastly, the third and final part consists of an Extended Essay on “Enduring Issues.”

“It’s a good thing that the new test will only be based on Global II. I think that way the test will probably be easier for the majority of students considering its less material to prepare for,” said sophomore Remi Haas.

There are a few reasons why the administration chose to give out the transitional exam.  One explanation is the fact that it gives the New York State Board of Regents a few years to work out the issue with the new format, given the fact that the transitional exam with be more similar to previous exams. 

Still, it is important to discuss the advantages of this new exam.  One benefit is that there will be more document-based sections throughout the test, which will give students an opportunity to identify and use those reliable sources of information.  Moreover, the new format of the test will not drastically change the curriculum of the classes and the way teachers have been teaching the curriculum.  

The concerns for these exams have to do with the fact that the students taking ESL classes may have difficulty with the new format because of the wording that is used for the questions.

“Assessments and test will change in order to fit parts of the new exam, but the way the classes are taught will not change because teachers here never taught to fit the exam anyways,” said head of the social studies department Mr. Lawrence Schultz.

Ultimately, the transitional exam will not make a significant impact on this year’s students.  However, in two years, teachers may have to edit their curriculum to incorporate some new aspects of the upcoming 2020 Regents exam. 

But, at least for this year, students can continue to study for this exam as others have studied in the past.