Here is another installment in my series reviewing the NY State Regents exams in mathematics.
I reuse problems on tests all the time. I’m sure every teacher does. Sometimes I’ll change a number or two, sometimes I’ll change what the question asks for, or sometimes I’ll use the problem just as it is.
But I’m not writing tests for thousands of students state-wide, and my tests don’t determine whether or not students graduate, teachers keep their jobs, or schools remain open.
So it seems reasonable to ask if reusing problems on high-stakes exams, like the Regents, is an appropriate practice.
Compare number 38 from the January 2013 Algebra 2 / Trig exam
with number 27 from the 2005 Math B exam.
And one more important difference between my tests and these standardized tests: I don’t pay millions of dollars to educational specialists to develop my exams.