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February 07, 1997 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-07

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 7, 1997


SAT botches scores

The Associated Press
It's the mantra of the SAT: Check
your work. Apparently, the testers did-
n't do it carefully enough.
The College Board made a mistake
on the math portion of the exam, and it
was a 17-year-old from Peterborough,
N.H., who recognized it.
As a result, the scores of as many as
45,000 high school students who took
the Scholastic Assessment Test last fall
will be boosted as much as 30 points.
The math portion of the test is worth
800 points.
"We made a mistake. We screwed
up," Brian O'Reilly, director of the SAT
program, said Thursday.
It was the first time the College
Board has admitted an error in the SAT
since 1982.
Colin Rizzio, who took the test Oct.
12, along with about 350,000 other col-
lege-bound students, found the flaw in
the multiple-choice answers to an alge-
bra problem.
The algebra problem used the letter
"a" to stand for a number. The test writ-
ers intended for students to assume that
"a" is a positive number, in which case
the correct answer is C.
However, if you assume that "a"
could also be a negative number, the

correct answer is D: "Cannot be deter-
"I was kind of hesitant when I circled
that one in, so I proceeded through the
test," Rizzio said Thursday on ABC's
"Good Morning America." Afterward,
he contacted the Princeton, N.J.-based
Educational Testing Service, which
develops and administers the test for
the College Board.
SAT officials were amazed that the
flaw had escaped their experts and that
a student had spotted it while taking the
all-important three-hour test.
Math questions on the SAT tests are
developed by former math teachers,
reviewed by high school teachers or
math professors and then checked by
members of the SAT committee,
O'Reilly said.
"At least a dozen individuals, seven
of them present or former math teach-
ers, missed it. It got by all of them,"
O'Reilly said. "The math teachers all
had to say, 'You know what? He's right.'
There was a certain level of embarrass-
ment at not having thought the question
through enough to come up with the
answer he came up with"
The SAT, a test of both math and ver-
bal skills, is the most widely used col-
lege admissions exam in the nation.

Continued from Page £
year 1997, MSU received a dispro-
portionately higher increase of 4.5
percent, while the University
received an increase of 4.4 percent.
Brewer said that although a larger
increase would greatly benefit the
state university system, the economy
causes it to be smaller.
"Given the realities, that increase
may be about right," Brewer said.
Wilbanks said the amount is not
set in stone - a final budget must be
approved by the state Legislature.
The budget proposal will first be
reviewed by the House
Appropriations Committee.
"I am certain the House will. be
looking at it," Wilbanks said. "We may
have the opportunity to enhance it."
In addition to the 2.5-percent
increase for universities, Engler slot-
ted a $541.3-million increase for K-
12 education - bringing the total
amount spent per student in
Michigan public schools to more
than $5,000.
"Spending on K-12 education will
exceed spending for everything else in
the general fund budget combined,"
Engler said in a written statement.
Despite the increases in K-12 and

higher education, Rep. Liz Brater
(D-Ann Arbor) said the budget still
allocates too much money to areas
such as corrections and too little to
"It's somewhat disappointing,"
Brater said. "We need to start putting
our money where our mouths are.
There's a lot of work that needs to be
done on that budget."
Brewer agreed that Engler should
focus more on K-12 education.
"There are a lot of people in the K-
12 system that won't make it to the
university system," Brewer said.
Other highlights of the proposed
budget include:
A 2.5-percent increase in fund-
ing for community colleges.
$30-million in funding for non-
University-bound students to help
them obtain technical skills.
A 100-percent increase in fund-
ing -for Project Zero, a program
designed to help single welfare
mothers find jobs.
A $20-million increase in the
Work First program, which aims to
remove families from welfare.
A 2.8-percent increase in fund-
ing to the Department of Corrections
- the smallest increase in 20 years.
0 A $15-million increase in the
spending on state parks.

4 :'.~' ~

Date change to cost government $2.3B'
WASHINGTON - The federal government will have to spend at least $2.3 bil-
lion to reprogram its computers to understand dates that include the year 2000,
according to a long-anticipated report released yesterday by the Office of
Management and Budget.
The report also said that employees at every federal agency have begun stud
ing computer systems to determine which programs need to be revised. Congress
has accused certain agencies of neglecting the issue.
Many large computer systems operate on a two-digit year-dating system, with
19 assumed to be the first two digits of the year. Those computers, if not repro-
grammed, will think the year 2000 - or 00 - actually is 1900, a glitch that could
bring many machines to a halt and lead others to spew out wildly erroneous data.
The problem is particularly prevalent in the government because most agencies
have older computers that use the two-digit system.
Some Republican congressional leaders criticized yesterday's financial projec-
tions as way too low, based on an incomplete survey and inaccurate estimates as
the cost of testing machines that have been fixed. They also contend that some f
eral agencies are low-balling costs because they have not been allotted any addi-
tional funds by the White House to fix the glitch and do not want to trim current
programs to pay for it.

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Continued from Page
In order to attract a higher caliber
of students, the report proposes to
create a "College for the
Exceptional," which would have sig-
nificantly higher standards of admis-
sion than the current Honors College
and would cut across several
The report also proposed the
establishment of a fund within the
administration to help recruit and
retain excep- -
tional faculty.
"A lot of peo- A lot
ple leave here
and get a Nobel lave he
Prize based on
what they did at a Nobel ,
Michigan," Akil
said. "The ques-
tion is why do Cor
we lose them?"
Akil said fac-
ulty members often have to prove
they are valuable in order to receive
money or equipment from their
"If they get offers and the system
is very slow to respond to them, then
the chances are that we're going to
lose them," Akil said. "It's really a

dangerous thing to take your best
people and put them out there."
Members of the Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs,
the faculty's governing body, said
the report focused too much on
gaining exceptional faculty.
"I think the report is completely
inconsistent to the faculty's commit-
ment to undergraduate education,"
said Physiology Prof. Lou D'Alecy,
SACUA's incoming chair.
"If you line the halls with super-
stars, you're not going to have peo-

Albright discovers
her Jewish roots
WASHINGTON - In this land of
immigrants, most people have a story
to tell about their roots. Maybe that's
why it seemed surprising that at age 59,
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
knew nothing of her Jewish heritage.
As a child, growing up in London,
she heard fictional memories of merry
Christmases and happy Easters from
her parents. In reality, they had con-
verted to Roman Catholicism after
f eeing the Nazi occupation of their
zech homeland.
Others who experienced the trauma
of changing their religious identity,
severing their roots to escape the World
War II death camps, say they easily
understand how she grew up in dark-
ness about her past - a past that now
has been revealed to her and the world.
"It's a sensitive matter, very person-
al, very difficult," says Abraham
Foxman. "It's hard to judge what was in
the minds of Madeleine Albright's par-
ents just as it is hard to explain why my

parents did what they did with me."
She learned the truth only when The.
Washington Post, preparing a profile,
uncovered documents, interviewed rel-
atives and established that more thar
dozen members of her family wW
killed as Jews during the Holocaust.
U.S. leads in violent
deaths of children
WASHINGTON - Nearly three
quarters of all the murders of children in
the industrialized world occur in the
United States, federal health offici@
said yesterday.
In releasing an extraordinary interna-
tional scorecard of youth violence, the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention found that the United States
has the highest rates of childhood homi-
cide, suicide and firearms-related deaths
of any of the world's 26 richest nations.
The suicide rate alone for children
age 14 and younger was double that of
the rest of the industrialized world,*
agency reported.

of people
re and get
- Huda Akil
nmittee co-chair

ple to attend to
the business of
e d u c a t i o n ,"
D'Alecy con-
Provost J.
B e r n a r d
Machen said
he is not in
favor of creat-
ing a highly





selective college for the exceptional,
but added that he does believe the
University should do more to track
top-notch students and faculty.
"We are a public university with a
commitment to the state and we must
serve an entire educational program,"
Machen said.
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Holy Eucharist followed by supper,
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Student Run Bible Study
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Ecuador's President
kicked out of office
QUITO, Ecuador - Congress voted
last night to remove President Abdala
Bucaram for "mental incapacity," exas-
perated by a six-month stint in office in
which the president sang and pulled
political stunts while Ecuador fell into
economic crisis.
Congress voted 44-34 to oust
Bucaram, with two congressmen
abstaining. Bucaram, a showman who
cheerfully referred to himself as "El
Loco," called the vote on his mental
incompetence a "coup by Congress"
and said he would not recognize it.
"The national government condemns
this attitude"he said.
Congress named its leader, Fabian
Alarcon, as interim president pending
new presidential elections within a
Minutes after the vote, caravans of
honking cars roared down the main
avenues of Quito, celebrating the vote
to dismiss Bucaram.
Heinz Moeller, a member of the

opposition Social Christian Party,
said it was the security forces'
responsibility to carry out the c
gressional decision if Bucaram
refused to step down.
As the session opened, the armed
forces issued a call to national authori-
ties to use "dialogue and cooperation"
to resolve the political crisis.
South African riots
mirror violent past
- Images reminiscent of South
Africa's bitter past reappeared yester-
day when mixed-race rioters looted,
burned tires and fought police to
protest alleged discrimination by the
black-led government.
At least one person died and more
than 100 were injured, including six
policemen, in the worst racial unrest
since President Nelson Mand
defeated white leader FW. De KlW
and came to power in 1994.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports..


iii - - ,- I wommomp-





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