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Catalfo showed the exam flaw to his father, Anthony Catalfo.
Anthony Catalfo told ABC News that he took his son’s findings to Bill Bernhard, who is the principal at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, which Benjamin Catalfo attended. Bernhard is also an adjunct math lecturer at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Bernhard told ABC News that Benjamin Catalfo was “100 percent correct” in finding that there is “no solution” to question 24 on the Regents exam.
The question, Bernhard said, is worth two test points.
Immediately, he contacted the NYSED, he said.
“Their response was that they were aware of the problem, but the committee of math teachers said that they are not reversing the score, and No. 2 is still considered the best possible answer,” Bernhard recalled. “I had written back to them and said, ‘What lesson are we teaching students? To choose the best wrong answer?”
The Regents examination in geometry did rescore question 14 and question 22 “as a result of discrepancies in the wording,” according to a document released to ABC News by the NYSED.
But the NYSED maintains that all other exam questions are “fair and each appropriately measures a geometry standard,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email.
The spokeswoman also said that the department doesn’t yet know how many students took the 2017 geometry Regents but that in 201516, 138,138 students took the geometry exam.
The petition has received over 1,900 signatures thus far.
Long Island Teen Petitions For Fix To Regents Geometry Exam
July 19, 2017 By Rachel Uda
When Ben Catalfo, 16, took a look at this years Regents Geometry exam, he realized something just didnt add up.
Now the East Setauket math wiz is pressuring state officials to correct the error he found on the exam.
Catalfo, a junior at Ward Melville High School, reviewed the exam two weeks ago while preparing to tutor geometry students, he said. He was working through the test, administered to students on June 16, when he was stumped by a multiple-choice question asking students to prove two triangles are mathematically similar.
According to the tests answer key, Answer 2 was the correct choice. But Catalfo, who passed the Regents exam in the seventh grade, found that none of the answers were correct.
Catalfo went over the problem again and again. He had his father, Anthony Catalfo, who works as a math tutor, check his work.
They came to the same conclusion and sought backup.
Catalfo consulted William Bernhard, his former principal at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School, who is also an adjunct math lecturer at Stony Brook University. Bernhard concluded Catalfo was right, and alerted the state Education Department.
I was in shock that there was another error, Bernhard said. The department previously acknowledged two other questions out of 36 on the assessment had more than one correct answer. Officials told Bernhard they were aware of the situation and would not change how the question would be scored.
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