## Abstract

The extensive use of National Completion Examinations in Mathematics (NCEM) as a critical filter for educational and social advancement highlights the tension between society's ambition for high achievement and its ambition for general mathematical literacy. This paper presents an innovative model for a NCEM that demonstrates how such examinations can serve to promote mathematical literacy for all, without losing its ability to promote high achievement. In the course of the paper, the meaning of mathematical literacy for all is also discussed; it is stressed that at the heart of this notion lies students' openness to mathematics, so that the success of a program directed towards mathematical literacy for all is reasonably measured by the number of students who persist in their study of mathematics and who develop a confident attitude towards it. Data were given suggesting that the new model for the NCEM is successful in this respect.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 499-514 |

Number of pages | 16 |

Journal | Journal of Mathematical Behavior |

Volume | 21 |

Issue number | 4 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 1 Jan 2002 |

## Keywords

- High-stakes assessments
- Mathematical literacy
- Mathematical reform
- National Completion Examinations

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Education
- Applied Psychology
- Applied Mathematics