In the last 30 years more and more countries introduced graphing calculators and then CAS systems to their high-school students. But are there already any examples of a trend in the opposite direction? That is, examples where a state or country decided to row back and deemphasize or discontinue the use of CAS systems or graphical calculators in teaching mathematics (at the secondary level). If so, what were the (official) reasons for this decision?

Please note that I don't want to discuss advantages or disadvantages of CAS systems in high school math, but just the very specific question above.

An example of this phenomenon I am aware of is in a state of Germany, more specifically Baden Württemberg: from 2004 on at every Gymnasium [a type of high-school] graphical calculators were allowed (e.g. TI-83/84) in the final examination (Abitur) in one part of the exam. Yet, it has been decided that from the Abitur 2019 on only a simple scientific calculator will be allowed. Since this tool will not be allowed in the Abitur it changes the style of teaching. CAS tools or software like geogebra will be used from time to time on a PC/tablet/smartphone but most of the time, calculations will be done manually as well as in tests.

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    $\begingroup$ Dan Kennedy's 16 March 2001 talk AP Calculus and Technology discusses the fact that the use of calculators was allowed on the 1983 and 1984 AP-Calculus tests, but after 1984 their use on the tests was not allowed until 1993. $\endgroup$ Oct 26 '15 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the question. What does "abolish" mean here? Are you talking about school exams? All use during school? Homework? Elementary school? College? Public schools? Private schools? $\endgroup$
    – user507
    Oct 26 '15 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell or by law for consumers? I admit i was confused by the wording as well and immediately thought of a government making a ban against the use of CAS in any context which surely is not what the question is asking.... $\endgroup$
    – celeriko
    Oct 26 '15 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell I am not sure that "to abolish" it the correct word here (I am not a native speaker). You may reformulate it that it is not longer allowed in final examinations or the importance of the calculator in the final examination is reduced drastically....The original intention was to ask about high schools, but if you know examples from colleges it might be interesting as well. $\endgroup$
    – Julia
    Oct 27 '15 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ I tried to clarify the question as I understood it. I hope this matches you intent. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Oct 27 '15 at 12:51

New Zealand used to have a CAS version of calculus exams.

old exam example: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/nqfdocs/ncea-resource/exams/2010/90834-exm-2010.pdf

It was actually much harder than the non-CAS version. I believe is was discontinued because it was much harder than the standard exam - how many kids want a harder exam? The regular exam assumes that students have access to a graphing calculator.


I forgot to mention that there has also been recently created a pre-calculus algebra exam in which they have banned all calculators entirely! This is amazingly popular with schools.

first exam sample: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/nqfdocs/ncea-resource/exams/2011/91027-cat-A-2011.pdf

I suspect it is simply coincidence that the calculator-fee exam was introduced the same year that the CAS exam with withdrawn.


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