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For Immediate Release
July 24, 2006

Illinois State Board of Education and Northern Illinois University announce Illinois Honor Roll
List includes 683 schools, up from 288

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have announced the Illinois Honor Roll Schools for the 2004-2005 school year. These outstanding schools are recognized for their accomplishments in making progress toward or maintaining academic excellence.

The 2004-2005 Illinois Honor Roll roster includes elementary, middle, and high schools. More than 90% of Illinois Honor Roll schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), as defined by the No Child Left Behind legislation, each in unique circumstances, ensuring that all students increased their academic knowledge and skills. Further, all schools have sustained qualifying test scores for at least three years. There are 683 Illinois schools making the roster, compared to 288 for 2003-2004. Of those schools, 40 made the roster two times.

A number of districts have multiple schools named to the Honor Roll, including: Chicago Public Schools District 299, 123 schools; Cicero District 99, 10 schools; Joliet Public School District 86, nine schools; Rockford School District 205, eight schools; Collinsville District 10, six schools; Cook County School District 130, eight schools; and Elgin U-46, eight schools.

“Making the Illinois Honor Roll is a symbol of academic achievement that requires teachers, parents and communities to work together to create an excellent learning experience for all Illinois students,” said State Superintendent Randy Dunn. “We salute their achievements and encourage them and all Illinois schools to build on these successes for the future. And with more than twice the number of schools on this year’s list, this shows the progress we’re making in improving Illinois education.”

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.

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.

A complete listing of the 2004-2005 Illinois Honor Roll Schools can be found at

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