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December 18, 2002

State Academic Early Warning List Has 661 Schools from 125 Districts

But 63 schools get off the list from last year

The State Board of Education today reviewed the 2002 Academic Early Warning List consisting of 661 schools from 125 districts and will take final action on list at tomorrow’s meeting. State laws provide that schools are placed on the AEWL if less than 50% of their students meet state standards for two consecutive years.

“The warning list is one of our most important tools for identifying which schools need significant help and for channeling resources to them,” said State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller. “The list is a structured way of letting the public know how Illinois schools are doing. It leads to a structured way of working with local school communities to improve academic performance.”

Schools are removed from the AEWL when more than 50% of their students are meeting or exceeding state standards. Thirty districts with a total of 63 schools earned removal from the AEWL because of 2002 scores on Illinois state assessments, which include ISAT, IMAGE, and IAA.

“These are bright spots in our state, and it’s up to us to help struggling schools replicate their success,” Schiller said.

The number of schools on the Academic Early Warning List in part reflects the rigorous Illinois Learning Standards against which students are measured, Schiller said. “Schools are still working to incorporate the Learning Standards into all their classrooms, and I am confident we will see these numbers decline as that process continues.”

“Through our System of Support, we will target our limited resources to help improve student achievement in these districts and schools,” Schiller said, “but it will take the efforts of entire communities to support schools in getting the gains that are needed. We look forward to that collaborative effort.”

The AEWL is very similar to the federal Title 1 “School Improvement List,” but the AEWL includes schools that do not receive Title 1 funding. The new federal No Child Left Behind Act requires all states to move to a single accountability system in 2003.

The 2001 AEWL consisted of 594 schools from 65 districts, but included only elementary schools. Additions to the AEWL for 2002 numbered 160 schools, of which 128 are high schools.

The 2002 Academic Early Warning List in county order may be accessed at the following website,

In addition, the list of the 63 schools that were on the 2001 AEWL but not on the 2002 list may be accessed at

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777