MONMOUTH – David Heckman of Monmouth Academy was one of 31 panelists, from a nationwide pool of more than 140 nominees, who helped set achievement standards for “The Nation’s Report Card.”

Panelists were chosen for their contributions to mathematics instruction and their communities. They met in St. Louis with staff from ACT Inc. and other experts in mathematics instruction and testing for four days of activities related to judging the performance on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress in mathematics for grade 12 students.

The assessment periodically tests samples of fourth-, eighth- and 12th-grade students in various subjects and reports the percentage of students scoring at or above basic, proficient and advanced achievement levels.

Because of recent changes in the mathematics frameworks, achievement levels are being redeveloped for grade 12. Previous achievement levels were developed in 1992.

Performance of 12th-grade students will be reported in 2005 according to the new criteria. The criteria will then be held as a benchmark for determining whether the U.S. has made any progress in mathematics instruction as students are tested in subsequent years.

The U.S. Secretary of Education will release information about students’ 2005 mathematics performance before the end of 2005.

ACT Inc. sponsors the ACT Assessment, the college-entrance exam taken annually by about 60 percent of students who enroll as America’s college freshmen.

ACT is a not-for-profit organization that serves millions of people in schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses and government agencies with programs and services that help people achieve their education and career goals.

For more information about ACT, visit

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