CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois State Board of Education says the relaxed rules for last year's reading and math tests were recommended by education and community leaders and approved by the U-S Department of Education.
Federal guidelines require schools to be evaluated on tests taken by students enrolled for a "full academic year," which each state defines.
In 2006, Illinois changed its rule so that students must be enrolled by May 1st of the previous school year to be counted. Before, Illinois counted test scores for students enrolled by October 1st of that school year.
The change meant 53 schools statewide dodged the federal failing schools list for 2006.
State Board of Education spokesman Matt Vanover says students' scores still count toward the state average and are still used to gauge the individual student's performances.