The Massachusetts Department of Education is considering whether to allow tech-savvy students to use computers to take certain parts of its high-stakes assessment. Reason: A recent study found students who regularly use computers for writing assignments scored up to 10 percent higher when tested via computers.

Partly it was a matter of what students were used to. Those accustomed to writing in longhand did better when asked to complete writing assignments using that method. But overall, on an 80-point test, the computer users scored up to eight points higher than those who completed writing

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