Arkansas Students Show Improvement on Standardized Tests

JULY 12, 2006 - Posted at 7:51 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - State Education Commissioner Ken James credits Arkansas teachers for highest-ever scores by students on this year's standardized tests.  In announcing the results yesterday to a conference of teachers, James said teachers are taking seriously what they have to do in the classroom.

James told the group of more than 1,200 teachers that scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the state Benchmark and End-of-Course exams were higher in 2006 for every grade level.

James also defended the state's standardized testing, saying that the tests are up to par, even though the federal government has criticized them.

On the benchmarks, the greatest increase was in sixth-grade math, 57 percent of students scored at the proficient level or above, compared with 43 percent in 2005.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)