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|NUMBER 148||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MAY 1998|
Tough Turn for National Tests
In March, the oversight panel charged with developing the national tests revised the original proposal authorized by the Department of Education. The new specifications reportedly limit the use of calculators on the math test and increase the level of difficulty on the reading test.
The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) approved the new tougher rules for the tests, and stated that the reading test will not include questions "about personal experiences, attitudes, or feelings."
The executive director of NAGB, Roy Truby, said the new tests will not be "fuzzy," and that students "will have to compute, reason and explain how they got their results." He said they will not "get credit just for trying."
Calculators will be allowed for the second half of the math test, though not all questions in that section will lend themselves to the use of a calculator. Both tests will be 90 minutes long, divided into two 45-minute segments.