By The Associated Press

New effort to help Illinois schools improve

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Bad Illinois schools are going to get some extra help from a new Center for School Improvement.

The center is supposed to coordinate regional improvement efforts to ensure schools receive expert assistance, particularly on closing the achievement gap for poor and minority students.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced the new center Wednesday. It will provide specialists in working with problem students, professional development and evaluations of progress.

The American Institutes for Research has a one-year, $10 million contract to establish the Center for School Improvement.

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