Nearly a year after Illinois students took the state’s achievement test, the results are finally complete, according to the state board of education.
The final round of test results and the state report card, released last week, come after months of delays caused by test-distribution glitches, scoring problems, and data-entry errors. The tests were taken by more than 1 million students in the spring of 2006.
Illinois students are tested every year in grades 3-8 in reading and mathematics, and in science in grades 4 and 7. In addition, 11th graders are tested in reading, math, science, and writing.
The last delay was the result of scoring problems found in the 11th grade test.
The delays complicated efforts of schools and the state to comply with the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, under which students in schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for three years are eligible for tutoring. Without student test results, many schools had to make educated guesses about which students might qualify for extra help.
Some of the testing problems, which included incomplete testing booklets mailed to schools, were attributed by state officials to San Antonio-based Harcourt Assessment, the testing company. The state school board has since awarded part of its testing contract to Pearson Educational Management, based in Iowa City, Iowa, which will print, distribute, and score the test. Harcourt will still develop each year’s test.
A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2007 edition of Education Week