Illinois Honor Roll

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2005 Honor Roll Highlights

In December 2005, the Illinois State Board of Education established rules for the Illinois Honor Roll, formalizing an awards program that had been piloted in 2003 and 2004. The following data include only limited comparisons to previous years, since the 2005 results constitute a baseline for comparison in future years.

Overall, two important comparisons with previous years testify to the efforts of students, faculty, and parents in these school communities.   First, a remarkable number of schools (125) are being recognized for the second or third consecutive year.  Secondly, 89% of schools have continued to improve their test scores.  The progress of these “no excuses” schools exemplifies the possibilities for improvement in Illinois schools at every level.


Total Numbers

Total Number of Awards = 723

Total Number of Schools = 683

Total Number of Districts = 302


School Types


Charter Schools - 3



Geographic Distribution of 683 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 2005. 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

64 Spotlight Schools (76% of 2004 winners) earned this distinction for a second time this year. A total of 21 schools are receiving a third Spotlight School award.

13 Academic Improvement Award schools won the award last year and 3 schools won it for a third time.

48 Academic Excellence schools also won this award last year. Of the 2004 winners, 76% sustained their long-term high achievement and won a second award.

Test Score Trends - Scores are Good and Getting Better

  • 278 of 316 Spotlight Schools (88%) showed increases in test scores over 2004.
  • At all 306 Academic Improvement Award schools, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards increased by at least 7.5% over one year or 15% over two years.
  • More than 25 Academic Improvement Award schools raised scores by more than 30% over two years.  
  • 58 Academic Excellence elementary schools showed increases in scores over 2003, even though they started at a baseline above 90% of students meeting or exceeding standards.

 Double Awards - 40 Schools earned both Spotlight Schools and Academic Improvement Awards

Two schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Excellence Award.  They are Jones College Preparatory High School in Chicago and Lincoln Elementary School in Anna.

38 schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Improvement Award.  They are listed on the Academic Improvement Awards home page.