Regents results: Pelham students attaining proficiency drop in seven of eight exams in 2022

Pelham high school and middle school students attaining proficiency dropped in seven of eight Regents examinations this year, with the largest declines coming in geometry, chemistry, earth science and high school algebra I.

From 2019 to 2022, the district’s high school students reaching proficiency on the geometry Regents fell 22 percentage points to 73% from 95%, while those meeting the state standard on the chemistry test declined  21 percentage points to 67% from 88%, according to data provided by the Pelham Union Free School District after the Pelham Examiner filed a Freedom of Information Law request.

No Regents exams were administered in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Students who take geometry are usually either freshmen or sophomores, while chemistry is a sophomore-year course.

Students meeting standards in eighth grade earth science declined 8 percentage points to 89% from 97%.

In high school algebra I, proficiency decreased 6 percentage points to 85% from 91% in a class usually taken by freshman, though it is also offered to eighth graders. The middle school proficiency rate fell by 2 percentage points to 98% from 100%. This was the first year in four that eighth grade students taking the test weren’t 100% proficient.

In an email response to questions on the Regents results, Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ said, “Given that students and teachers have gone through two and a half years of disruption from the global pandemic, we were pleased to see that our Regents proficiency scores are largely in line with those from previous years with a noticeable decline in just a few exams. The state has acknowledged that a decline in Regents’ exam scores was to be expected given the disruption, and it will take time to return to pre-pandemic performance on high stakes tests, not only here in Pelham, but across the country and around the world.”

The remaining 2022 proficiency results:

  • English (juniors): rose 2 percentage points to 97% from 95%.
  • Global history I (freshmen): dropped 1 percentage point to 98% from 99%.
  • Living environment (freshmen): fell 2 percentage points to 94% from 96%.

The U.S. history exam was not administered this year due to a question on the test that was deemed to be sensitive after the mass shooting in Buffalo in May. The test was printed before the incident occurred, and the state exam board decided to cancel the administration of the test.

Pelham School District Regents Exams

Summary Results for Four Years

Notes from Pelham school district:   *Regents Assessments based on Common Core Learning Standards have five performance levels (Algebra I & Geometry: level 1 = 0-54, level 2 = 55-64, level 3 = 65-79, level 4 = 80-84, level 5 = 85-100; Algebra II: level 1 = 0-54, level 2 = 55-64, level 3 = 65-77, level 4 = 78-84, level 5 = 85-100; ELA: level 1 = 0-54, level 2 = 55-64, level 3 = 65-78, level 4 = 79-84, level 5 = 85-100 ). Regents assessments based on 2005 Learning Standards have four performance levels (level 1 = 0-54, level 2 = 55-64, level 3 = 65-84, level 4 = 85-100). (Source: Pelham Union Free School District)

In 2018, students attaining proficiency dropped in six of the nine Regents tests, but the decreases that year ranged from 1% on three tests to 3% on one test and 5% on another, less than the largest four declines this year. In 2019, proficiency declined on two exams (see chart above).

“As a district that is dedicated to ‘Inspiring a standard of excellence for all students,’ we continuously reflect on student growth and performance through multiple measures,” said Champ in her email answer. “As we do every year, we will review our Regents results as one point of data that provides insight into our continued focus on students. We look forward to helping students rebuild their academic skills for high stakes tests and to providing a world class educational experience for students as we all continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Champ also pointed to the success students had this past year in regional and national science fairs and a state mathematics competition.”We are proud that our teachers have provided students with a plethora of engaging and rigorous educational experiences that have resulted in national and international recognition in the past year,” she said.