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>For Immediate Release
March 3, 2005

Illinois State Board of Education and
Northern Illinois University announce Illinois Honor Roll

List includes 288 schools in Illinois

Springfield, Ill. ­The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have announced the Illinois Honor Roll Schools for the 2003-2004 school year. These outstanding schools are recognized for their accomplishments in making progress toward or maintaining academic excellence. ISBE and NIU made the announcement at Salazar Elementary Bilingual Center in Chicago, one of the schools being recognized on the Illinois Honor Roll.

The 2003-2004 Illinois Honor Roll roster includes elementary, middle, and high schools, each of which made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Further, all schools have sustained both Adequate Yearly Progress and qualifying test scores over at least three years. A number of districts have multiple schools named to the Honor Roll, including: Chicago Public Schools District 299, 52 schools; Kankakee District 111, six schools; Springfield District 186, six schools; Indian Prairie District in Naperville, four schools; Kankakee District #111, six schools; Decatur District #61, six schools; District #181 in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills, seven schools; and Moline District #40, six schools.

"We salute these schools and their teachers, parents and communities for working together to create excellent learning experiences with great outcomes," said State Superintendent Randy Dunn. "They have worked hard and made great things happen for students. We salute their achievements and encourage them and all Illinois schools to build on these successes for the future."

Helping the state identify and publicize examples of exemplary school achievement is a hallmark of NIU’s P-20 (pre-school through graduate school) initiatives. NIU Outreach worked with the State Board to establish criteria, identify winners of the awards, and administer the Illinois Honor Roll.

“We believe that these schools deserve applause for their accomplishments,” said John Peters, President of Northern Illinois University. “Given the urgent need for successful examples, we should also be studying these schools and disseminating examples of what works,” added Peters.

ISBE and NIU partnered to develop the program to honor schools in three categories:

Academic Excellence Awards - schools where nearly all students consistently meet or exceed standards for at least three years. Criteria require that 90 percent of elementary students and 80 percent of high school students meet or exceed standards.

Spotlight Schools - high poverty-high performing schools that achieve despite the odds. Criteria include at least 50 percent low income students, 60 percent of students meet or exceed standards on state tests.

Academic Improvement Awards - schools that make significant gains in performance over three years and those that manage to change direction from failure to success. Criteria include an upward trend in test results, 7.5 points gain in scores above last year or 15 percent over two years OR release from the Academic Early Warning List.

A complete listing of the 2003-2004 Illinois Honor Roll Schools can be found at

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