Illinois Honor Roll

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2004 Academic Improvement Awards

The 2004 Academic Improvement Awards honor 150 schools for substantial gains in performance over the last several years. The awards range across all levels from schools where 40% of the students are meeting the Illinois Learning Standards to schools where 90% are meeting standards. The median state test score for these schools was 70%, which is above the state average.

Located throughout the state, the award winners represent every type of school — large and small; elementary, middle, and high schools; both regular and charter schools; all funding levels; urban, suburban, and rural; and low performing and high performing. They demonstrate that exemplary progress is possible at every level and can be sustained over at least three years. By making Adequate Yearly Progress as required by No Child Left Behind, these schools show that they know how to help all students succeed.

See Billman, Mission Possible, for Illinois principals' stories on how they lead dramatic gains in academic performance.


Total Number by Year

In 2004 = 150

In 2003 = 100

School Types

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Chart showing types of schools receiving awards


Removal from State and/or Federal Sanctions

  • 41 schools won Academic Improvement Awards as a result of earning removal from Academic Early Warning, Academic Watch, or federal School Improvement Status.
  • 23 of these schools would have qualified for the award based on test score improvements alone.
  • In 2003-4, 22 schools qualified for this award by removal from the sanctions lists.
  • Six schools that won this award in 2003-4 sustained improvements and repeated the honor this year. One of those schools also qualified for a Spotlight Schools award.

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

  • Between 0 and 100% of students in the 150 schools are eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch.
  • 47 schools enroll more than 50% low-income students.
  • 53 schools enroll 25-50% low-income students.


Geographic Distribution of 150 Academic Improvement Awards

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Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


Repeat Winners

24 schools sustained the upward trend in academic performance and increased their test scores by at least 7.5% over one year or 15% since 2002.

Double Winners

  • 0 schools earned both Spotlight Schools and Academic Improvement Awards.

Districts with 3 or More Improvement Awards in 2004

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Chart showing school districts with 3 or more awards