Well, now that I'm back in high school, I am getting up to speed on the new Regents, and let me tell you, my friends, I am unimpressed. The state seems to think that the test is more or less the same, and I have to admit that I'm not up to speed on what anyone's thought process was on making this test so simple. The test is down to one essay and two constructed-response (paragraph) questions, and the multiple-choice section. As I noted in the title of this post, the eighth grade ELA exam is more lengthy and complex than that.
No English teacher with whom I've spoken thinks that this new test is in any way an improvement towards making the tests more rigorous and demanding to encourage kids to reach higher standards. It's hard not to see the current test as pretty dumbed-down.
Why was the Regents revised (in my view) downward? Do you know why these changes were made? Have you seen the new test format and, if so, do you also find it to be more simplistic and less challenging? Your thoughts are, as always, welcome in the comments.