Schools can see data on whether they've met education goals

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's problems, the Illinois State Board of Education is giving schools a new opportunity to double-check information that helps determine whether schools are meeting federal education requirements.

The information released last year was riddled with errors. More than 450 schools were wrongly told they had failed to meet standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind law. It took months to correct the data.

Interim state Superintendent Randy Dunn said Monday there are signs of similar problems with this year's data, which shows how many students participated in standardized testing. Questionable results showed up for more than half the 3,801 schools.

The state board is letting schools review the data from Thursday to Oct. 7. Schools have been sent the results and can view that data online. State employees at a toll-free number and the company that administered the tests are available to answer questions.

Dunn said the latest education report cards won't be released until all the data is correct -- even if that means missing the Oct. 31 deadline set by state law.

The school report cards are meant to let parents know how well their local schools are performing. Schools that repeatedly fail to meet federal requirements must take steps to make up for the problem, such as letting students transfer elsewhere.

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