- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - About 125,000 Illinois public school students will be taking practice exams beginning this week to determine the effectiveness of progress assessments the state will adopt next year.

The tests, which are being administered in about 1,800 schools, are tied to learning goals called the Common Core Standards that have been adopted by Illinois and dozens of other states.

Illinois will implement the testing in all 860 districts next year.

The tests by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers replaces the current Illinois Standards Achievement test that’s given to third- through eighth-graders, and the Prairie State Achievement Exam that’s given to high school juniors.

The Illinois State Board of Education says the pilot test takers are a representative sample of Illinois students.

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