SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thursday's release of "report cards" on school performance will show a drop in the percentage of students passing the Illinois Standards Achievement test last school year.
But that doesn't mean teaching or student performance has actually fallen. Rather, the decline in scores is a result of the state board of education's decision to toughen the grading scale for grade schools so it matches that used by high schools.
This year, only 62 of 863 districts achieved growth benchmarks set under federal No Child Left Behind law, down from 152 last year.
But if the old scoring method were still in use, more students would actually have made gains.
The change is part of the state's preparation to adopt more rigorous learning standards in the 2014-2015 school year.
LEXINGTON, Mo. (AP) - Funeral services have been announced for former Missouri congressman Ike Skelton.
The Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home says visitation is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday in Grondyke Hall at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington.
Skelton's funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Wikoff Hall, also on the Wentworth campus. A burial service with military rites is to occur at the Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington.
Skelton died this past Monday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Virginia. He was 81.
Skelton served in the U.S. House for 34 years before losing re-election in 2010. He never served in the military but was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a staunch advocate for the armed forces.
A massive pile up on Interstate 70 in downtown St. Louis today involved more than a dozen cars, but miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.
Shortly after 5 AM there were two separate accidents in the depressed section of the highway. The accidents involved several cars and a semi truck. Emergency crews were forced to shut down a section of the interstate to clear the wreckage. Police have not released an official cause of the crash.
But the roads were wet and there was fog in the area so those conditions could have played a role.