Arkansas test scores "encouraging"

(June 23, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- State Education Director Ken James says the latest batch of standardized test results are a positive sign. The tests show that Arkansas fifth and ninth graders are above the national average in most categories. The state's ninth graders had average scores for reading comprehension. The University of Iowa-developed Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Iowa Test of Educational Development replaced the Stanford Achievement Test last April. The basic skills was given to more than 33-thousand fifth graders, and the educational development test was given to more than 33-thousand ninth graders. The Iowa tests, like the Stanford tests, are graded on a system that compared results to the nation's average score. The 50th percentile represents the average.