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Report Contains Proofreading Error

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Because of a proofreading error, the executive summary of the 1986 mathematics assessment makes some students' performance seem worse than it actually was, test officials acknowledged last week.

In its analysis of the math proficiency of 13-year-olds, the 16-page booklet issued by the National Assessment of Educational Progress notes that 73 percent of students in that age group performed at the basic-operations level, compared with 65 percent of such pupils in 1978.

The booklet then states: "It is alarming that one-third of these students, primarily in the 7th and 8th grades, did not attain this level of proficiency, because basic whole-number computation skills are universally taught in the elementary grades.''

The correct proportion for the 1986 test-takers is 27 percent.

The mistake did not appear in the full 143-page report. --RR

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