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US opts out of testing students on identifying fake news

The United States joined Belgium, the U.K. and Japan this week in opting out of a new standardized test for students to determine whether children can spot and avoid fake news, Business Insider reported Tuesday.

Department of Education officials rejected a test from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) designed as a "global competence test" that would test students' ability to tell when data is being presented in a misleading way, and the difference between fact and opinion.

Twenty-eight other countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore and the Philippines, will implement the standardized test in schools, which will launch later this year. The test is given to 15-year-old students, usually high school freshmen or sophomores.

In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesman for the Department of Education said the Trump administration made the decision to let the test have time to prove its "technical stability."

"We consider it to be an important innovation, but we want to allow it time to develop and crystalize into an operationalized assessment with a solid empirical foundation to validate its technical stability," the spokesman said.

The OECD also operates the Programme for International Student Assessment tests, which the U.S. participates in every year and is used to measure school systems around the world.

Britain's Department of Education took a less friendly tone in a statement explaining the decision to reject the test.

"All schools are already required to teach pupils to have a mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs, so in order to not place additional burden on them, we will not be taking part in this smaller scale Global Competence assessment," a spokeswoman said.