New testing benchmarks to rely only on SAT exam in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -New testing benchmarks for Illinois high schools are prompting concern and confusion.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the state is taking the unusual step of using scores from the SAT college entrance exam to judge whether students and their high schools are meeting state standards in reading, writing and math.

The tests will be administered to all public school juniors in the spring. The state plans to use those scores to measure how students are performing, which is required by federal law.

However, the minimum score to meet the state’s standards is higher than the SAT’s college-readiness scores. That’s causing controversy because it means that a student could be considered ready for college by the SAT’s standards but fall short of Illinois standards.