17 Stories

Sasha Obama Misses Dad's Farewell, Internet Freaks

She's fine—she just had a test the next morning

(Newser) - President Obama gave his farewell speech to the nation Tuesday night, and it included an emotional tribute to his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. "Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad," he told the girls—though... More »

Teacher on Leave After Math Quiz on 'Pimps,' 'Ho's'

Alabama middle school teacher was set to retire this month

(Newser) - Murder, AK-47s, "pimps and ho's"—topics you'd expect to see covered in a police report, not on a middle school math quiz. Yet a teacher in Mobile, Ala., included those subjects on her exam, and she's now been placed on administrative leave because of it,... More »

Girls Beat Boys in Federal Tech Test

But only 43% of 21,500 students tested as technologically literate

(Newser) - For the first time, a federal test measured tech skills for America's students—and the girls handily beat the boys in nearly every category, per US News & World Report . On the National Assessment of Educational Progress engineering and technology exam, given in 2014 to 21,500 eighth-graders from... More »

You Almost Definitely Couldn't Pass This Indian Exam

Yet hundreds of thousands take super-hard test for jobs they know nothing about

(Newser) - Nearly half a million citizens converged upon 71 cities in India Sunday to try their hand at what's described by coaching expert PS Ravindran as "the mother of all written exams," the Global Post reports. It's the nation's civil services test, and it's not... More »

UNC Journalism School Ditches Spelling Test

School bows to technology

(Newser) - You can stop studying those dictionaries, prospective journalism students at UNC, because the school has finally acknowledged the existence of spell check. The University of North Carolina school of journalism has officially retired the spelling portion of the spelling and grammar test all students must take, reports the Daily Tar ... More »

Banned From NYC Tests: Dinosaurs, Aliens, Birthdays

Officials ban 50 subjects from city-wide assessment tests

(Newser) - New York City test-makers are going to have a hard time coming up with acceptable questions to place on students' tests, after officials decided to ban 50 subjects including dinosaurs and birthdays. Why? Because those topics have been deemed potentially controversial, and could make kids upset: Dinosaurs, for example, could... More »

School's Plan to Boost Test Scores: Feed Kids Placebos

Florida elementary school students given 'FCAT PowerBars'

(Newser) - A Florida elementary school wants its students to perform better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test … so it's feeding them "placebos." Hagen Road Elementary students will be given an "FCAT PowerBar"—aka an apple-flavored cereal bar with a label reading, "Warning: Improves Writing... More »

FBI: Agents Cheated on Open Book Exams

Tip: Don't finish a 90-minute test in 20 minutes

(Newser) - A "significant number" of FBI agents and analysts taking an exam on guidelines for domestic investigations cheated, the Justice Department confirms in a report. Better yet, it was an open book exam. Agents and analysts consulted with others, shared answer sheets, and even exploited a computer system bug to... More »

Radioactive Isotope Shortage Stalls Medical Tests

(Newser) - Trouble at nuclear reactors that produce two-thirds of the world’s medical isotopes have created massive testing delays in the US, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The isotopes, created in Canada and the Netherlands, are used for presurgery stress tests and to locate some cancers; doctors are limping along with older,... More »

Teacher Puts Ads on Tests to Pay for Copies

Budget cuts force test-happy prof to take drastic action

(Newser) - When his suburban San Diego high school cut his photocopy budget to $316, calculus teacher Tom Farber had a problem. Because he gives a lot of tests—to make sure his students have enough practice for their AP exam, he says—he racks up $500 a year in 3-cents-per-page copy... More »

Test Prep Firm Accidentally Publishes Student Data

Info for tens of thousands of Fla., Va. pupils available online for 7 weeks

(Newser) - An error in the Princeton Review’s website left personal information and standardized test scores for tens of thousands of students exposed on the internet for 7 weeks, the New York Times reports after a rival test-prep firm informed the newspaper. Data on 34,000 students from Sarasota, Fla., and... More »

Iran Tests Missile in Gulf in 'Warning' to US

Nine weapons fired into strategic waterway as alert to 'enemies'

(Newser) - Iran demonstrated its military might today by firing nine long- and medium-range missiles in the Strait of Hormuz, which 40% of the world's oil passes through. Reports on Iranian television said that one of the weapons fired was the Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 1,250 miles.... More »

Arrivederci to AP Italian? Not So Fast, Educators Say

Groups mount effort to save funding-starved language test

(Newser) - Italian-American groups, outraged the Advanced Placement course in Italian language and culture could soon be shelved, have mobilized to save it. The College Board, which administers the AP program, plans to cut the $84 test and three others because of meager enrollment and funding. “We cannot have the Italian... More »

6K Nabbed in GMAT Cheating Scandal

Biz schools, test maker go after students who used test-prep site

(Newser) - More than 6,000 students are embroiled in a cheating scandal that could cost them their place at one of the nation’s business schools, BusinessWeek reports. The prospective MBA students were members of ScoreTop.com, a test-prep site that featured current GMAT questions. Test publisher GMAC sued the company,... More »

High School Test Cheat Could Face 38 Years

Teen plotted to boost grades for college admission

(Newser) - A student at an Orange County high school faces 69 felony charges and a possible 38 years in prison for a scheme to alter grades, the Los Angeles Times reports. The locked-up 18-year-old is accused of breaking into his school repeatedly, hacking into computers, and changing test scores and records... More »

Grueling Gaokao Tests China's College Seekers

Dreaded university entrance exam covers 12 years of study

(Newser) - At least 10 million high school students in China are taking the grueling gaokao, or "high test," to win a coveted spot at college. It’s a two-day ordeal that covers everything students have learned for a dozen years. It also shuts down neighborhoods, redirects traffic, and determines... More »

Citizenship Test Just Too Tough for Most Brits

High standards, or a scheme to foil would-be immigrants?

(Newser) - Should would-be immigrants to the United Kingdom be required to know the population of Wales when a majority of Britons don't? Only one in seven natives would pass the test required to get a passport, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The government says the bar should be set high even... More »

17 Stories