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We look at a controversy: the use of computers for automated and semiautomated grading of exams. K. Kukich, the director of the Natural Language Processing group at Educational Testing Service, provides an insider's view of the history of the field of automated essay grading and describes how ETS is currently using computer programs to supplement human judges in the grading process. T. Landauer, D. Laham, and P. Foltz describe the use of latent semantic analysis in a commercial essay-scoring system called IEA. They also address important ethical questions. L. Hirschman, E. Breck, J. Burger, and L. Ferro report on MITRE's current efforts towards automated grading of short-answer questions and discuss the ramifications for the design of general question answering systems. Finally R. Calfee places these developments in the framework of current educational theory and practice.