Illinois Honor Roll

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2012 Academic Excellence Awards

Academic Excellence Awards recognize 454 schools that have sustained very high academic performance over at least three years. Some of these schools receive national recognitions, placing them among the nation's most outstanding.

In elementary and middle schools, at least 90% of the students met or exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics for at least 3 consecutive years. In high schools, at least 85% of the students met or exceeded standards on the Prairie State Achievement Exam in 2010-2012. All Academic Excellence schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the past two years.

As AYP standards rose in recent years, the number of high schools receiving this award declined. At a number of high schools that received Excellence Awards in prior years, 85 percent or more of all students continue to meet or exceed standards on the Prairie State, but these schools did not meet the criteria for AYP due to rising standards for subgroups.

Schools that receive Academic Excellence Awards tend to remain on the Honor Roll year after year, and many of them raise their level of performance.

Achieving and maintaining excellence is not easy in any school. The critical strategies for success cited in Billman, Mission Possible also operate in the schools winning the Excellence Award.


Total Number by Year

Chart showing types of schools receiving awards

School Types

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Chart showing types of schools receiving awards


Academic Excellence High Schools

Number indicates total times the award was received.

Northside College Prep, Chicago (9) Jones College Prep, Chicago (9)
Payton College Prep, Chicago (8) Young Magnet, Chicago (8)


Test Scores - Moving More Students into the Exceeds Range

Four 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.

  • Half Day School, Lincolnshire
  • Iles Elementary, Springfield
  • Lincoln Elementary, River Forest
  • Edison Elementary Regional Gifted Center, Chicago

Ten elementary schools showed decreases in test scores, but stayed above the 92.5 percent mark.

Low-Income Enrollment ("Low-income" is designated by eligibility for free or reduced lunch.)

  • The 29 Academic Excellence schools in Chicago enroll 6% to 98% low-income students.
  • Of the 454 Academic Excellence schools, 263 (58%) enroll fewer than 15% low-income students.


Geographic Distribution of 454 Academic Excellence Awards

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Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


School Size

  • Young Magnet High School in Chicago is the largest Academic Excellence school with 2094 students. The four high schools enroll from 836 to 2094 students.
  • Elementary enrollments range from 63 in Prairieview-Ogden North in Royal to 902 students in Blaine Elementary, Chicago.
  • 194 of the 454 (43%) elementary schools enroll 400 or more students.

Repeat Winners

39 Schools
9th time
36 Schools
8th time
15 Schools
7th time
38 Schools
6th time

Double Winners

  • 15 Schools earned both Spotlight Schools and Academic Excellence Awards.
    • Arcadia Elementary School, Olympia Fields
    • Brown Elementary School, 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 School, Woodridge
    • Havana Jr. High School, Havana

Districts with 4 or More Excellence Awards in 2012

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Chart showing school districts with 4 or more awards