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For Immediate Release
April 23, 2004

State Board Approves Academic Improvement Awards Program

During its monthly meeting this week, the Illinois State Board of Education voted to approve criteria for an Academic Improvement Awards program.

Northern Illinois University partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education to identify nearly 100 schools where students have made consistent academic improvement while meeting Adequate Yearly Progress criteria.

To receive an Academic Improvement Award, schools must:

  • Have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2003, and
  • Their state test results show an upward trend, and
  • The school showed at least 7.5% improvement in scores between 2002 and 2003, OR
  • There was at least 15% improvement in scores between 2001 and 2003.

The 7.5% improvement increments were selected to match the projected increase in annual academic performance targets under No Child Left Behind beginning in 2005.

The program is an extension of the Spotlight Schools honored last fall. Spotlight Schools are public schools that achieved high academic performance in an environment where a majority of students' come from low-income families.

Schools will be invited to awards events in north, central, and southern Illinois locations during the month of May.

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