JMAP had its genesis at Thomas Jefferson High School in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York in the fall semester, 2003. The creators of JMAP were first year math teachers when they saw their first Mathematics A Regents examination on January 26, 2004, and were quite surprised at the difference between their teaching practices and the State’s assessment practices. A few days later, Steve Sibol, Editor and Publisher of JMAP, started the process of compiling and categorizing the Math A Regents examination questions.
Steve Sibol's sorting of the Regents questions into various topics may differ from yours. Consider any differences as opportunities to consider how topics might be taught. Developing an awareness and understanding of how Regents questions can be solved in different ways is an interesting byproduct of analyzing the JMAP database.
Steve Watson responded with visionary enthusiasm to Steve Sibol's effort, and they began having regular Friday afternoon meetings to discuss their experiences and ideas as new math teachers. These meetings frequently focused on how to better utilize the technology resources associated with the Math A curriculum, and an in-service training workshop on the Worksheet Builder software program was presented at the Jefferson Campus in April 2004.
Their summer vacation became a quest to get the JMAP materials ready, and by September 2004, they had accumulated resources that were not only useful, but also desired by other math teachers at their new schools: the High School for Civil Rights at the Jefferson Campus and Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School. Maxwell Pereira from FDR joined at this time and brought fresh ideas.
At the Fellows at Five Conference in March 2005, commemorating the 5th anniversary of the NYC Teaching Fellows, Chancellor Joel Klein was presented with a copy of the JMAP cd-rom and the Regents by Topic book. Convinced of the usefulness of JMAP, Chancellor Klein directed the Office of Curriculum and Professional Development of the NYC Department of Education to make 2,500 copies of the JMAP 611 cd-rom for distribution to all New York City high school math teachers.
Also in March, Steve Sibol published www.jmap.org to deliver updated JMAP resources to math teachers all over the State of New York. Steve Sibol completed the compilation and categorization of the Math B Regents questions during the Summer of 2005. In December, 2005, the first installment of Interdisciplinary JMAP was published. This is a compilation of applied mathematics questions from the Regents examinations in Earth Science. These worksheets provide students further practice on math topics, but do not require a thorough understanding of the underlying Earth Science topics. Similar worksheets are also available with Living Environment, Physics, Global and US History Regents examination questions. By Spring, 2006, all Regents examinations, including answer booklets, answer keys and conversion charts, in current subjects were available for download from the website.
In Spring, 2006, Steve Watson participated in the Final Eyes Review of the June, 2006 Math A Regents examination. Steve Watson completed JMAP's Lesson Plans during the summer of 2006, and transferred to the International High School at Prospect Heights for the new school year.
In December, 2006, Steve Sibol participated in the Final Eyes Review of the January, 2007 Math B Regents examination. In March, 2007, he participated in the development of the specifications of the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents examination. During the third week of July, Steve Sibol wrote questions for the Integrated Algebra Regents examination in Albany. JMAP published the first in a series of Regents examinations under prior State curricula in JMAP's Regents Exam Archives.
In February 2008, Steve Sibol and Steve Watson were members of the NYCDOE Geometry Curriculum Evaluation Committee, charged with the task of reviewing geometry programs and deciding on a list of recommended curricula to be shared with schools for the new Geometry course. After training in Albany in late March, Steve Sibol spent the next six weeks writing questions online for the Integrated Algebra and the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents exams. In June, Steve Sibol was named a Teaching Fellows Award for Classroom Excellence finalist. During the last week of June, he participated in developing the conversion chart for the Integrated Algebra Regents Exam, in July, reviewed questions for the Geometry Regents Exam and in October, reviewed field tests for the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents exam.
In February 2009, Steve Sibol and Steve Watson were members of the NYCDOE Algebra 2/Trigonometry Curriculum Evaluation Committee, charged with the task of reviewing Algebra 2/Trigonometry programs. In late March and early April, Steve Sibol wrote questions online for the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents exam, and participated in developing the conversion chart for the Geometry Regents Exam in June.
JMAP, Inc. was incorporated in July, 2009 as a New York Not-for-Profit Corporation and has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS. JMAP, Inc. was created to assume the financial responsibilities of maintaining www.jmap.org, such as webhosting, software, hardware, internet, organizational and other expenses deemed appropriate. You may make a charitable donation to JMAP, Inc. here.
In June, 2010, Steve Watson received a doctorate in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, after writing and defending a dissertation on the history and sociology of 144 years of Regents mathematics examinations. Steve’s dissertation research contributed to JMAP's Regents Exam Archives, the world’s largest collection of digitally archived Regents mathematics examinations, and to the creation of a 5,508 question research database that reflects consistency and change in high stakes testing practices in the public schools of New York during every decade since the Civil War.
Any student who has internet access or sufficient financial resources to buy a study guide has access to previous Math Regents questions. Those students who are impoverished, however, are less likely to have these resources. The founders of JMAP believe that familiarity with previous examinations can improve pass rates on future examinations, and therefore, argue that lack of access to previous examinations due to socio-economic conditions is a civil rights issue. Making previous Regents examination questions freely available on this website helps address this civil rights issue.
JMAP is a non-profit initiative working for the benefit of teachers and their students. While JMAP is not associated with the NYCDOE, Steve Sibol and Steve Watson are Brooklyn public high school math teachers. JMAP acknowledges the support of Nedda De Castro, Principal of the International High School at Prospect Heights. Special appreciation goes to the many math teachers who have shared their ideas about how to improve JMAP. Please share your ideas as well and contact JMAP's Editor.