2003 Illinois Spotlight Schools
In Fall 2003 the Illinois State Board of Education launched a recognition program, Spotlight Schools, for high poverty schools where high academic performance is closing the "achievement gap." Located throughout the state in urban, suburban, and rural locations, 27 Spotlight Schools earned honors in 2003. They exhibit achievements that are contrary to the conventional wisdom that test scores will reflect demographics despite local efforts.
Criteria for selecting these schools are rigorous. All schools must be making Adequate Yearly Progress. At least half the students are from low-income families and at least 60% must be passing the state achievement tests in both reading and in mathematics.
The Spotlight Schools demonstrate that low-income students and schools with limited resources can show impressive academic performance. These schools know how to help all students succeed. See Billman's study of Spotlight Schools Award winners, Mission Possible, for Illinois principals' stories on how they do it.
FACTS ABOUT 2003 SPOTLIGHT SCHOOLS
Total Number by Year
In 2003 = 27