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A national gathering of mathematics educators later this month will lay the groundwork for preparing students to use graphing calculators on the Advanced Placement calculus test, an innovation expected to begin in 1995.

Under the direction of John Kenelly, Clemson University's Alumni Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, the 250 teachers who gather for two days in mid-June to score this year's tests will remain on the South Carolina campus to receive instruction from 18 "lead teachers'' on how to use the machines to replace pencil-and-paper calculations.

The College Board, which administers the national examination, supports the project and is considering allowing students to use the devices on the examination, Mr. Kenelly said.

"This is not training on how to use a calculator,'' he said. "This is an educational experience [about] how mathematics must change to reflect a new, technological era.''

Supported by a four-year, $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the Clemson project is designed to build a network of trained teachers over the next three years who will in turn train the approximately 7,000 A.P. calculus teachers to use the machines.

Graphing calculators--hand-held machines with roughly the same power as the earliest microcomputers--allow students to plot functions on a built-in screen. Researchers at Ohio State University have been actively building a national cadre of teachers dedicated to their use. (See Education Week, April 10, 1991.)

John Dickinson, a California teacher who spent six months in a military prison for refusing to serve with his Air Force Reserve unit in the Persian Gulf war, will be allowed to keep his teaching credentials. (See Education Week, April 8, 1992.)

A committee of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing late last month closed Mr. Dickinson's case, which means he will not be sanctioned for his military offense. The committee could have recommended revocation of his license on grounds of "moral turpitude.''

Early last month, the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Mr. Dickinson, sent the committee a brief that included 400 letters of support from a broad array of backers, among them a large majority of Mr. Dickinson's colleagues at the Santa Ana elementary school where he teaches 5th grade.

The committee closed the case after reviewing it during a three-day hearing in late May.

Vol. 11, Issue 38, Page 3

Published in Print: June 10, 1992, as News Updates
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