Petition to keep the Global History and Geography Regents as a Graduation Requirement

World map - Produced in Amsterdam First editio...

World map – Produced in Amsterdam First edition : 1689. Original size : 48.3 x 56.0 cm. Produced using copper engraving. Extremely rare set of maps, only known in one other example in the Amsterdam University. No copies in American libraries. In original hand color. Français : Carte du monde – Créée à Amsterdam Première édition : 1689. Taille originale : 48,3 x 56,0 cm. Eau forte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m so late to this party that it isn’t fashionable anymore.Yet some parties are so important it’s just as important to just show up.

As it broke in April, The New York State Board of Regents is considering a measure to make the Global History and Geography Regents examination optional for graduation with a state-endorsed diploma.  Instead, students would opt to take another math or science course or another vocational course.

However, you still have to take the global history course…because it makes so much sense to take a class but not the final exam (cough, cough).

Never mind the obvious age-old agendas of gutting social studies to create automatons proficient enough in math, science and literacy to be submissive cogs in the corporate machine, yet ignorant of the workings of government, history, economics and geography so that they will be ill-equipped to participate fully in American democracy.

The motives for this one are both sinister and silly.

It is done under the guise of offering more educational options—more options at the expense of the hardest exam in the Regents system.  The Global exam had a passing rate of about 60%, the lowest in the state.

So the move is less about well-rounded educational options and more about artificially boosting graduation rates.

Even more incredible, the test is mostly a test of reading comprehension, and less of a trivia contest.  The low passing rates have little to do with the content.  It has everything to do with students with subpar reading skills—often at or below 6th grade level for 10th graders.

The irresponsibility, deviousness and outright stupidity of this move is so self evident, I won’t waste any more words on it.

Below is a petition from Change.org to try to reverse the decision.  The Board of Regents will make their final decision at their June meeting, so it’s important to sign soon.

The link is here.  Make sure your voice is heard.   Also, be sure to read Alan Singer’s column on the matter in the Huffington Post.

It’s bad enough our kids can’t find where they live on a map.  Let’s at least teach them where the rest of the world is located.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Petition to keep the Global History and Geography Regents as a Graduation Requirement

  1. Pingback: Remainders: Assessing advocacy groups’ influence and impact | GothamSchools

  2. Kevin Ammann

    HARD?! It is not hard in the least BIT! It is WAY too basic and conceptual. I do very well on the practice exams I’m given, high 90s. I don’t understand why so many kids fail. It’s an easy exam that doesn’t really go too deep into the depths of history. Let me tell you what a hard examination is: ALGEBRA 2/TRIG. If you want to talk about exams that are hard, let’s delve into this one. This one is one of the hardest exams that students will face. The highest grade on it last year, at least in my school, was an 81. I don’t know what it was for Global, but it was probably much higher- in the 90s, most likely. Oh, and because this IS a mandate for graduation, they make it easy on PURPOSE, so that people can actually PASS! It’s not CHALLENGING! If anything, New York State needs to KEEP the exam, but make it like 1,000 times harder. Our students are too DUMBED DOWN in terms of history. All they know is the conceptual basis. It’s pathetic.

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