Illinois Honor Roll

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2012 Honor Roll Highlights

The 2012 Honor Roll recognizes 624 schools with 640 awards. Despite long-term 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 600 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 2012, the AYP criterion has risen to 80% 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 454 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. Over 100 schools have received the Academic Excellence award for six years or more.

The 105 Spotlight Schools are fewer than in prior years, reflecting financial stresses in these high-poverty districts and rising criteria for AYP. The 81 Academic Improvement schools demonstrate significant increases in student achievement at any level.

Two other Honor Roll trends continued in 2012. First, a large number of schools stayed on the Honor Roll. One school, Dewey Elementary in Quincy, is receiving a tenth Spotlight School Award. 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 = 640

Total Number of Schools = 624

Total Number of Districts = 293


School Types


Charter Schools - 3



Geographic Distribution of 624 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 2012. 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

  • One school won the Spotlight Schools Award for the tenth time.
  • Seven Spotlight Schools are receiving a ninth award, having maintained high-level performance since the award began in 2003. Nine schools earned the award for the eighth year.
  • Three schools won the Academic Improvement Award for the fourth year.
  • Thirty-nine Academic Excellence schools sustained their long-term high achievement and won an ninth award in 2012. Thirty six earned the award for an eighth time and fifteen schools are being recognized for the seventh time.

Test Score Trends - Scores are Good and Getting Better

  • 54 of 105 Spotlight Schools (51%) showed increases in test scores over last year.
  • At all 81 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.
  • 14 (17%) Academic Improvement Award schools raised scores by more than 20 percentage points over two years.
  • 256 (56%) 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, 15 schools won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Excellence Award:

  • One middle school
    • Havana Jr. High (Havana)
  • Fourteen elementary schools
    • Arcadia Elementary (Olympia Fields)
    • Brown Elementary (East St. Louis)
    • Carlinville Primary School (Carlinville)
    • Chopin Elementary School (Chicago)
    • Coretta Scott King Magnet School (University Park)
    • Cypress Elementary School (Cypress)
    • Ewing-Northern Elementary School (Ewing)
    • Frazier International Magent Elementary School(Chicago)
    • George W. Lieb Elementary School (Bridgeview)
    • Glen Oaks Elementary School (Hickory Hills)
    • Johnsonville Elementary School (Johnsonville)
    • Norwood Primary School (Peoria)
    • Owen Elementary Scholastic Academy (Chicago)
    • William F. Murphy Elementary (Woodridge)

One school won both the Spotlight Schools award and the Academic Improvement Award:

  • Iuka Community Consolidated (Iuka).

Top Award-Winning Districts (10 or more awards)

The 624 winning schools came from 293 districts.

District Awards Winning Schools Total District Schools
City of Chicago 299
Indian Prairie 204