Illinois Honor Roll

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2013 Honor Roll Highlights

The 2013 Honor Roll recognizes 177 schools with 185 awards. Two factors affected the number of schools on the Honor Roll in 2013:

  • Long-term increases in eligibility requirements, which are linked to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) levels
  • Increase in cut scores for determining "meets standards" on the state's elementary school tests, the Illinois Standards Achievement Test(ISAT), administered to third-through eighth-graders.

The strong performance of these 177 schools deserves celebration.

In 2003, the Honor Roll's first year, high-poverty schools could qualify for the Spotlight Schools award if 60 percent of the students met or exceeded standards on the state tests. By 2013, the AYP criterion has risen to 92.5 percent of students. Both Spotlight Schools and Academic Excellence Awards schools must meet higher AYP criteria. Secondly, the increase in cut scores meant that achieving the "meets and exceeds standards" level was more challenging than in prior years.

The 125 Academic Improvement Award schools demonstrate significant increases in student achievement at any level. In 2013, students in these schools scored at least 7.5 percent higher than in 2012 or 15 percent higher on state tests than in 2011, a major achievement.

The 37 Spotlight Schools are fewer than in prior years, reflecting financial stresses that have reduced services in these high-poverty districts, higher cut scores, and the rising criteria for AYP, 92.5 percent in 2013.

A total of 23 schools achieved Academic Excellence Awards. Criteria for the Academic Excellence Award require that all schools make AYP. With at least 92.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards, these 23 schools represent the highest performance level since the Honor Roll began in 2003. These schools have also demonstrated excellence for at least three consecutive years.

Total Numbers

Chart illustrating Total Number of Schools Tested (3873) Total Number of Awards 640), Total Number of Schools Awarded (624), and Districts (293)

The number of award winning schools represents 5 percent of all schools tested.

School Types


Charter Schools - 3



Geographic Distribution of 177 schools

Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


Test Scores and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

To determine eligibility for awards, the Illinois Honor Roll uses composite scores of reading and mathematics, subjects that count for determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

All schools winning the Spotlight Schools and Academic Excellence Awards made AYP in 2013. Although making AYP was not a criterion for the Academic Improvement Awards, 62 percent of those schools did make AYP in 2013.


Repeat Awards - Sustaining Exemplary Performance

Two Spotlight schools have earned a tenth award.

  • Sheridan Math and Science Academy, Chicago
  • Aroma Park Primary School, Kankakee

Three Spotlight Schools are receving a ninth award, maintaining high-level performances since the award began in 2003.

  • Blackhawk Elementary School, South Beloit
  • Matteson Elementary School, Matteson
  • Willow Elementary School, Pekin

Seven schools earned the award for the eighth year.

  • Maple Grove Elementary School, Metropolis
  • Xenia Grade School, Xenia
  • Locke A Elementary Charter Academy, Chicago
  • Owen Scholastic Academy Elementary School, Chicago
  • Grissom Elementary School, Chicago
  • Courtenay Language Arts Center, Chicago
  • Grand Prairie Elementary School, Centralia

One school won the Academic Improvement Award for the fifth year.

  • Gregory Elementary, Chicago

Six schools won the Academic Improvement Award for the fourth year.

  • Clark G R Elementary School
  • Coonley Elementary School
  • Faraday Elementary School
  • White Career Academy Elementary School
  • Ward L Elementary School
  • West Park Elementary Academy

Nine Academic Excellence schools sustained their long-term high achievement and won a tenth award in 2013.

  • Jones College Prep High School, Chicago
  • Lincoln Elem School, River Forest
  • Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago
  • Edison Regional Gifted Elem School, Chicago
  • Decatur Classical Elementary School, Chicago
  • Lenart Regional Gifted Center, Chicago
  • Half Day School, Lincolnshire
  • Washington Gifted School, Peoria
  • Iles Elementary School, Springfield

Seven Academic Excellence schools earned the award for a ninth time.

  • Brook Forest Elem School, Oak Brook
  • Keller Gifted Magnet Elem School, Chicago
  • McDade Elem Classical School, Chicago
  • Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago
  • The Lane Elementary School, Hindsdale
  • Washington Gifted School, Rockford
  • Young Magnet High School

One Academic Excellence school earned the award for a eighth time.

  • Deerfield High School, Deerfield

Test Score Trends - Scores are Good and Getting Better

  • 36 of 37 Spotlight Schools (or 97 percent) showed increases in test scores over last year.
  • At all 125 Academic Improvement Award schools, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards increased by at least 7.5 points over one year or 15 points over two years.
  • 42 (or 34 percent) Academic Improvement Award schools raised scores by more than 20 percentage points over two years.
  • Eight (or 35 percent) Academic Excellence elementary schools showed increases in scores over last year, even though they started at a baseline above 90 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.

Double Awards

Eight schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Improvement award.

  • Aroma Park Primary School, Aroma Park
  • Clark GR Elementary School, Chicago
  • Honeywell Elementary School, Hoopeston
  • Medora Elementary School, Medora
  • Maple Grove Elementary School, Metropolis
  • Northwestern Junior High School, Palmyra
  • Tampico Elementary School, Tampico
  • Deland-Weldon Middle School, Weldon

Top Award-Winning Districts (3 or more schools)

The 177 award winning schools came from 99 districts.

  • Chicago District 299 - 68 schools
  • Joppa-Maple Grove UD 38 - 3 schools
  • Northwestern CUSD 2 - 3 schools