Common core exams shine a light on appropriate use of calculators

Students taking Common Core State Standards math exams in grades 3 to 5 will not be permitted to use calculators, but students in middle and high schools will have some access to the devices, according to policies by the two consortia developing the exams. In general, language in the standards about calculators focuses on their appropriate, strategic use in the classroom. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has supported calculator use in all grades. NCTM President Linda Gojak said it will be easier to judge the effects of the policy when more test questions are made available, but overall, she said she is "not too troubled" by the policy.

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