A proposal to eliminate the Regents exam in New York has alarmed some social studies teachers on Long Island. They worry if the state cuts the standardized tests, history will be the first to go.
The state plans to reevaluate its testing methods because teachers and parents say high school students are bombarded with exams under the current Common Core curriculum.
Social studies teachers, like Alan Singer, say they are worried the history curriculum will be forgotten. Federal law requires high school testing in English, math and science, but there is no mandate for history.
“I think the larger issue has to do with the implementation of Common Core exams. Starting with the Bush administration, there was this tremendous push to assess student performance in reading and math,” Singer said. He now teaches education at Hofstra University.
“But the question really becomes: which test should be eliminated? And I think the reading and math tests, they could be cut back, but I think a test on whether you’ve mastered the American government...I think those tests have to remain.”
The Long Island Council for the Social Studies sounded the alarm in a statement. The teachers group is concerned if history is not tested by the state, then it will not be taught in public schools.