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Students must take state math test again

December 04, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

About 800 Washington County middle and high school students will have to retake the Maryland Functional Math Test because questions to the test were circulated before the exams were given, officials said.

The questions from the October test were circulated in two Maryland counties, but officials would not identify them.

State Department of Education officials are continuing an investigation into the "security breach."

"We're not privy to where it happened or how it happened," said Donna Messina, spokeswoman for Washington County schools.

Teachers who circulate questions from a test could face suspension or revocation of their teaching certificates, said Ron Peiffer, spokesman for the state Department of Education.

Teachers can use practice tests to help students prepare for the Functional Math Tests, but they cannot contain the exact questions, Peiffer said.

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Smithsburg High School Principal Michael J. Shockey said he had not told any of his students they would have to retake the test.

"Your basic, average teenagers are going to have a hard time dealing with that idea. It's just one of those speed bumps you go over," said Shockey," he said.

Middle and high school students must successfully complete the Functional Math Test to graduate from high school. It is separate from the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests that are administered in schools, Messina said.

Statewide, about 60,000 students will have to take the math test again, Peiffer said.

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