Clinton Has Order for Schools Run by Military Pentagon Must Require Use of Standardized Tests

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President Bill Clinton ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to require standardized tests in classrooms run by the armed forces for its dependents.

The Defense Department, which operates 233 schools for 115,000 dependents of U.S. military personnel around the world, will join Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina in testing students against international standards by 1999.

"We can make our public schools, just like our military, the best on earth if - like our military - we are willing to adhere to high, rigorous standards for all people, regardless of their background," Clinton said in an address to a joint session of the North Carolina Legislature. Denise Borders, associate director of Department of Defense education activity, said dependents of military personnel already score well above the national average in current standardized tests, even though their schools have an extremely high mobility rate compared with public schools. The average tour of duty for military personnel is two to three years. "We're looking forward to participating in the new assessment, and we look forward to really seeing how our students stack up internationally," she said. "We think we will do well" on the new tests. Clinton is traveling state to state to urge lawmakers to adopt national tests that will be developed by 1999 for fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math. He addressed Maryland and Michigan lawmakers after those states agreed to the testing and standards program. …