Illinois Honor Roll

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2011 Honor Roll Highlights

The 2011 Honor Roll recognizes 703 schools with 719 awards. Despite dramatic increases in eligibility requirements, which are linked to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) levels, the total number of awards remains high. The continued strong performance of more than 700 schools deserves celebration. In 2003, the Honor Roll's first year, high-poverty schools could qualify for the Spotlight Schools award if 60% of the students met or exceeded standards on the state tests. By 2011, the AYP criterion has risen to 85% of students. Other Honor Roll criteria have remained constant. No major changes occurred this year in the state tests or their scoring.

A total of 438 schools achieved Academic Excellence Awards, continuing the strong trend of recent years. Academic Excellence criteria require that 90% of elementary students and 85% of high school students meet or exceed standards on state tests. Further, these schools must demonstrate excellence for at least consecutive three years. Nearly 100 schools have received the Academic Excellence award for six years or more.

The 167 Spotlight Schools are fewer than in prior years, reflecting financial stresses in these high-poverty districts and rising criteria for AYP. Academic Improvement Awards, however, increased in 2011. The 114 Academic Improvement schools demonstrate significant increases in student achievement at any level.

Two other Honor Roll trends continued in 2011. First, a large number of schools stayed on the Honor Roll. Many schools are receiving awards for the eighth or ninth year. Secondly, schools that appear on the Honor Roll year after year continue to improve their test scores. The progress of these "no excuses" schools exemplifies the possibilities for learning at every level throughout Illinois. Ongoing dedication and hard work by students, teachers, parents, and communities have earned the honors they are receiving.

Total Numbers

Total Number of Awards = 719

Total Number of Schools = 703

Total Number of Districts = 312


School Types


Charter Schools - 3



Geographic Distribution of 703 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 2011. 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

  • Three Spotlight Schools received a ninth award this year.
  • Eleven Spotlight Schools are receiving an eighth award, having maintained high-level performance since the award began in 2003. Sixteen schools earned the award for the seventh year and 26 schools are being recognized for the sixth year.
  • Three schools won the Academic Improvement Award for the fifth year. Seven schools, six in Chicago and one in east St. Louis sustained 7.5 points annual improvement for a fourth consecutive year.
  • Forty Academic Excellence schools sustained their long-term high achievement and won an eighth award in 2011. Thirty eight earned the award for a seventh time and eighteen schools are being recognized for the sixth time.

Test Score Trends - Scores are Good and Getting Better

  • 122 of 167 Spotlight Schools (73%) showed increases in test scores over last year.
  • At all 114 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.
  • 22 Academic Improvement Award schools raised scores by more than 20 percentage points over two years.
  • 183 Academic Excellence elementary schools showed increases in scores over last year, even though they started at a baseline above 90% of students meeting or exceeding standards.

Double Awards

This year, 10 schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Excellence Award: Two high schools, Jones College Preparatory High School and Lane Technical High School, both in Chicago; one middle school, Tefft Middle School (Streamwood); and seven elementary schools, Arcadia Elementary (Olympia Fields), Brown Elementary (East St. Louis), Irvington Elementary (Irvington), Norwood Primary (Peoria), Vanderpoel Elementary (Chicago), William F. Murphy Elementary (Woodridge), and Willow Elementary (Pekin).

Six schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Improvement Award: Alta Sita Elementary (East Saint Louis), Annette Officer Elementary (East Saint Louis), Black Magnet Elementary (Chicago), Columbus Elementary (Chicago), Farmersville Elementary (Farmersville),and Martin L. King Elementary (Dixmoor).

Top Award-Winning Districts (10 or more awards)

The 703 winning schools came from 312 districts.

District Awards Winning Schools Total District Schools
City of Chicago 299
Indian Prairie 204
Schaumburg 54
Naperville 203