Education A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Licensing Test Lowers Passing Score

By Sean Cavanagh — August 29, 2006 1 min read

The Illinois state board of education has voted unanimously to lower the passing score on the licensing test for history and social studies teachers, in response to worries that the test was too hard and that too many potential instructors were failing it.

The board’s Aug. 10 decision will lower the passing score from 64 out of 100 to 57. Fifty-six percent of teacher-candidates are passing the exam; state officials estimate that about 82 percent will pass once the standards are lowered, board spokeswoman Meta Minton said.

The test, taken by about 1,100 teachers a year, is a requirement for Illinois middle and high school social studies and history teachers, Ms. Minton said. It is just one of three professional exams teacher-candidates must take for licensure, she said.

State officials believe that some teacher-candidates’ test scores may have suffered because their studies had focused on one particular area, such as U.S. history, while the licensing exam covered material from other world regions and eras, Ms. Minton said.

A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of Education Week