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While the nation's 8th-grade mathematics students are achieving at about the same level as average students in 23 other countries, and American 12th-grade calculus students achieve at slightly higher levels than students in other countries, average U.S. math students in 12th-grade classes achieve in the bottom quarter in an international comparison of 8th and 12th graders.

The findings come from the Second International Mathematics Study, begun in 1976 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, a group of leading education-research institutions headquartered in Stockholm. The group's preliminary report on the American data was issued last spring. (See Education6Week, May 16, 1984.)

The U.S. portion of the research, which surveyed students and teachers in 600 classrooms, was conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the final U.S. results were released this week. The final international results are scheduled to be released late next year.

For information on how to obtain copies of the report, write to the Second International Mathematics Study, Room 341 Armory Building, 505 East Armory St., Champaign, Ill. 61820.

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