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Illinois High Schools' Scores Sink as State Tightens Up Rules

Here's another tidbit in an accumulating pile that suggests we are trending toward closer scrutiny of high schools: state test scores at more than half of Illinois' high schools sank because the state has closed a loophole that allowed lower-performing juniors to avoid the test.

The Chicago Tribune's analysis of state test scores detailed the resulting rise in the number of students tested, and the drop in performance on the Prairie State Achievement Exam, which includes the ACT.

Last week, we told you about plans in Chicago and New York City to add college-readiness metrics to school report cards. And states that get waivers from No Child Left Behind will have to report the rates at which their districts' and schools' students enroll in college and accumulate credit.

Combine that with the recent years' focus on dropout factories, and tightened federal regulations that require a method of calculating graduation rates that's tougher than the one some had been using, and you get a much closer—and not often pleasing—look at how well our high schools are serving students.

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