This January, 87.1 percent of the juniors received a grade of 90 or higher on the English Regents. This is significantly better than Stuyvesant juniors’ scores in past years, and is progress towards Principal Stanley Teitel’s 90/90 Regents Exam goal for the school.
Teitel’s 90/90 Regents Exam goal aims for 90 percent of students who take a Regents exam to get a grade of 90 or above. With 87.1 percent of the students achieving a grade of 90 or above, this is the closest the English Department has gotten to the goal in the last five years.
Compared to last year’s 70.1 percent of students getting 90 or above, this year’s percentage is a “terrific increase in that goal for that [the English] Regents,” Teitel said.
Additionally, over 95 percent received a grade of 85 or above and over 66 percent received a grade of 95 or above.
Assistant Principal English Eric Grossman said he did not want the department’s teachers to teach solely for the test. However it “is valuable to familiarize students with the language and tasks that they will be confronted with when they take the test so they have the opportunity to do as well as they should,” he said.
Before the Regents, the department came together and practiced grading essays, looked at model essays and reviewed the tasks on the Regents. “It helps us adhere to state’s expectations,” English teacher Jonathan Weil said.
Grossman used staff development days and departmental meetings to stress the fact that the English teachers should follow the state grading rubric as closely as possible to give the students to get the grade they deserve. “The state rubric is much less stringent than our own rubric and the state’s standards are much lower,” he said.
“I found the anchor papers, models for the best quality essay, to be inferior to some of the best writing of our students,” English teacher Vito Bonsignore said.
The test consisted of two three-hour testing periods given on consecutive days. Students were required to write four essays and answer 26 multiple choice questions.
“It was easy for us because as juniors we’re prepared for the SATs,” junior Patricia Lin said.
Although there is no reward for the English Department or Stuyvesant, “some bonus points on the progress report that we didn’t get last year, hopefully we’ll get this year,” Teitel said, referring to the annual progress report issued to each public school by the Department of Education.
“I’m really pleased [the scores] most closely reflect the high level of instruction that I see everyday,” Grossman said.