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National News Roundup: ACT Adds Calculators To Mathematics Testing

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Beginning this fall, students who take the American College Testing program's mathematics exam will be allowed to use calculators.

Testing experts with the program have said allowing calculators will not diminish the act's ability to test students' mathematical reasoning, Richard L. Ferguson, the president of the Iowa City, Iowa-based company said in a statement. Mr. Ferguson added that the common use of the calculators in American classrooms was also a factor in the decision.

The act administers a college-entrance exam taken by about 60 percent of entering freshmen across the country. The four-part assessment measures development in reading, English, math, and science reasoning. The Scholastic Assessment Test has allowed test-takers to use calculators since 1994.

Gang Activity

There are more than 25,000 youth gangs in the United States, with a total of more than 652,000 members, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates.

The figures come from the the first nationwide survey of gang activity, released last month. The agency surveyed 3,500 local law-enforcement agencies in urban, rural, and suburban areas throughout 1995. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said that gang problems in their communities were getting worse.

A complete report, titled the "1995 National Youth Gang Survey," is scheduled to be published next summer.

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