Education A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Board Lowers Bar on English-Learners’ Test

By Sean Cavanagh — June 21, 2005 1 min read

The Illinois board of education has unanimously approved a plan to lower the passing scores on a state accountability test that measures reading abilities of English-language learners.

Approved June 16, the changes will lower the reading cut scores on the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English test, or IMAGE.

That exam was designed to assess the language ability of English-language learners. Illinois officials later used the results to assess limited-English-proficient students under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The test is given in reading and mathematics in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.

Officials decided to review passing scores because the test is now used to hold schools and districts accountable under the 3-year-old NCLB law—a purpose for which it was not originally designed, Illinois state Superintendent of Education Randy J. Dunn said in a written report to the board.