What Does My Child Need to Score on the Algebra Regents?

A parent asked me recently about test prep for the Common Core Algebra 1 Regents exam.

She'd heard that a certain very desirable high school was requiring incoming students who took Algebra in 8th grade to repeat the class in 9th if they scored below 70 on the Regents.

I'd not heard of this practice, but was able to discuss it with a recently retired Math AP. He confirmed that it happened in the past, but said the practice had been ended. Former Chancellor Dennis Wolcott decided that high schools would no longer be allowed to force students who met the state standard passing grade to repeat the class. The state standard is 65.

But this same retired Math AP told me that at his former school (one of the Specialized High Schools) they were always concerned that students who did not score at or above the "mastery level" of 85 would struggle in Geometry in 9th grade.

So what does your child need to score on the Regents exam? And does he or she need any additional prep outside of school?

The answer to the first questions is 65 - they need to pass. The answer to the second - maybe. Although none may be needed, some additional prep can help assure that they enter 9th grade with at least "mastery level" knowledge of Algebra 1, and are prepared for its rigorous use in Geometry.


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