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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

How Much Is Your AP Test Score Worth In Illinois? The Answer Varies By University

Illinois State Senator Pat McGuire headshot

High school students taking advanced placement exams know they have to score at least a 3 on a 5-point scale to pass. What they don't know is which Illinois universities will give them credit for that score. A score of 3 on your high school Advanced Placement Biology test might earn you college credit at Western Illinois University but not at Illinois State. Same goes for your AP history test, and AP chemistry, and in fact, for all 34 AP tests across all Illinois universities. State Senator Pat McGuire, a Democrat from Will County, met with education leaders and is now co-sponsoring a measure that would establish a uniform standard.

"I asked if all Illinois public universities used the same method to determine what's the minimum score on an AP exam they will accept, and I was told there is no standard method,” McGuire told a Senate education committee. "It's university by university, campus by campus, and perhaps department by department."

Fourteen other states including Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin already accept all AP scores of 3 and above, making them attractive college options for Illinois students. But Illinois colleges oppose the legislation, saying they’re going to conduct a study. McGuire doesn't want to wait for a study.

"It appears to me that, by the next academic year, this group will not have made an assessment as to whether or not it's in the best interest of the state of Illinois to adopt a uniform policy regarding AP exam scores,” McGuire said, “and it appears that while some of the best and brightest are leaving Illinois, for other Big 10 schools, we're going to hold the door open." 

The measure, authored by Rep. Carol Sente, a Democrat from Vernon Hills, has passed in the House, and is pending in the Senate.



After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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