By Aneesa Ahmed ’16
The Department of Education is still debating making the Global History and Geography Regents optional for the students due to unsatisfactory and low scores.
This exam tests approximately 5,000 years of history over a two-year period making this course difficult to teach and the test harder to pass. The exam hurts some of the students’ academic success. Some students believe that the global exam wastes their time, while those who already have taken it believe that the exam shouldn’t become optional, and it should go on in the future.
“I don’t really care if it will be optional but if it was, I may have more time to study for other regents,” said Alyssa Tai Chong ’17. Chong wouldn’t be affected if the global regent will stay mandatory or not.
Global History and Geography covers a variety of topics and themes. The regent consists of 50 multiple choice questions, a document based essay, and a thematic essay, which is based on the student’s own knowledge and memorization. It covers historical information starting from when people were nomadic up until the cold war.
“I think that it is unfair to all students who have taken the global regent that it may become optional soon,” said Briana Johnson ’16. “The global regent is a two year course and it’s a lot of information to learn.”
Some students who have taken this exam and received high scores want their scores to have an impact on them. Those who studied for two years and earned a high grade on the exam feel that at the end of the day their flawless grades deserve to matter.
“I got a 90 and I think these scores should matter for those who take it,” said Angel Gil ’16. “It is difficult and shocking for me to think if the exam may become optional then, my score may not be counted as important as if it is mandatory. It would be a waste. I deserve for my grade to matter as well as all the other students.”
Teachers also have their own opinions and beliefs about the possibility of the regent becoming optional.
Ms. Joann Peters doesn’t think it is positive direction. She believes that we live in a global society, so the students should learn about the world. The students may not learn as much if they don’t have to take the regent. Passing the regent will make them better prepares to make positive choices of living in this world. Taking the exam would make the students have a better global understanding of the world around the, she said.
“The Social Studies Department understands the studying history and the world is important,” said Ms. Peters. “This is not a move in the right direction. At this point, it would be unclear to see how this would affect the teachers’ grades and performance. If the exam becomes optional then, other exams may be in place.”
Ms. Peters said students would be able to choose to take the Global or U.S. exam, and the students would only be tested from 1750 to the present time. Anything before 1750 would not appear in their studies.
Ms. Peters is disappointed in the movement of the state pushing away from Global History when in this century we have a would that is globally connected.
Mr. Matt Bonavita said, “Options are good, but Americans don’t have a good understanding of the world around them, and the exam becoming optional will make it worse.”
“It is fine that the regent may become optional,” said Ms. Margaret Murphy, “as long as the teachers teach what is originally supposed to be taught. I believe this is the most important subject in which the students should learn about the world surrounding them.”