Illinois Honor Roll

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2008 Academic Improvement Awards

The 2008 Academic Improvement Awards honor 153 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 99% are meeting standards. The median state test score for these schools was 71%, 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. Research is not yet available to explain the steep drop in the number of awards this year.

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


Total Number by Year

Chart showing types of schools receiving awards

School Types

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Chart showing types of schools receiving awards


State and Federal Status

(72%) of Academic Improvement Award schools made Adequate Yearly Progress this year. By making AYP, these schools are earning release from the sanctions currently imposed by the state and federal designations listed below.

  • Academic Early Warning Status (10)
  • Academic Watch Status (50)
  • Restructuring & Restructuring Implementation (47)
  • Choice (6)
  • Choice SES (2)

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

  • 107 schools enroll more than 50% low-income students.
  • 28 schools enroll 25-50% low-income students.
  • 18 schools enroll 0-25% low-income students.


Geographic Distribution of 153 Academic Improvement Awards

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Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


Repeat Winners

Schools that continue to improve at least 7.5% in performance year after year deserve a special round of applause. In 2008, Abbott Middle School, Elgin, and Williamsfield Middle School, Williamsfield, won the Academic Improvement Award for a fourth time.

24 schools won the Academic Improvement Award for a third time, and 39 schools won the award in both 2007 and 2008.

Double Winners

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

Districts with 4 or More Improvement Awards in 2008

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Chart showing school districts with 4 or more awards