Failed Schools In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The last school year saw 896 Illinois public schools fail to meet rising No Child Left Behind achievement targets, a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

The Illinois State Board of Education reports about 24 percent of public schools in the state landed on the federal failing list, compared with 18 percent last year.

It is the first time since the federal reforms took effect in 2002 that the number of failing schools has increased.

The number likely would have been even higher had Illinois education officials not taken advantage of provisions in the federal education reform law that allow states to tinker with math and reading exams, as well as loosening the way passing rates are measured.

The state will release the complete list of failing schools, as well as individual school test results, October 31st.