State

Illinois schools' test scores dip under new scale

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Test scores for Illinois elementary students dipped significantly in 2013 in both reading and math. But the state board of education says the changes are due to tougher scoring criteria, and students are still making gains.

State education officials announced the results on Tuesday. The overall percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards in 2013 dropped to 61.9 percent in 2013, down from 82.1 percent in 2012.

The Illinois Standards Achievement Test is given to third through eighth graders in public schools. The board of education last year raised requirements for better alignment with tests given to high school students for college and career readiness.

The changes also come as Illinois and 44 states across the country prepares adopt Common Core standards in 2014, a more rigorous test for students.

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