For Immediate Release
March 21, 2011

27 Illinois School Districts recognized by College Board for increased participation on AP exams

More Illinois students taking rigorous, advanced courses

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education joins the College Board in recognizing 27 Illinois School districts with making the AP Achievement List. The districts singled out for this honor either maintained or improved their participation and performance on the rigorous AP exams used toward college credit and placement. City of Chicago School District 299, the largest district in the state, also ranked as the largest district award winner.

“As we move to implement more rigorous learning standards in Illinois, this is a particularly important achievement for these 27 districts,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Many of these districts are not only providing more students with advanced academic courses but showing improved scores. Whether students are honing skills in science, math, a foreign language, history or other subject, they’re pushing themselves beyond high school level work that will better prepare them for success in college and careers.”

Overall, a record number of Illinois students are taking and passing AP exams, according to the sixth annual AP Report to the Nation. Illinois ranks in the upper half of the nation (18th) for the number of high school seniors who scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam.

Improvement in AP results typically requires sustained effort. The AP Achievement List is based on examination of three years of AP data, 2008 through 2010, from all students who took AP Examinations in May of those years. Districts must have met the following criteria to receive the award:

  1. Increased access to AP by
    1. At least 4 percent in large districts
    2. At least 7 percent in medium districts
    3. At least 11 percent in small districts
  1. The percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students must not be decreasing.
  2. Performance levels must be maintained or improved when comparing the percentage of exams scoring 3+ in 2010 to 2008.

While the AP Achievement List is not a roster of higher performing districts, it is a roster of districts that are simultaneously expanding opportunity and improving performance, so even low performing districts are included if they have been able to maintain or improve scores while expanding access. However, no district with less than 10 percent of AP Exams scoring 3 or better is included.

While performance levels must be maintained or improved among traditionally underserved minority students in order to qualify for the AP Achievement List, this criterion is waived for districts with less than five percent minority students so as to avoid penalizing small, rural districts that do not have significant racial/ethnic diversity within their high school populations.

The Illinois schools on the AP Achievement List for maintaining or improving participation and performance are:

Antioch Community High School District 117
Central Community Unit School District 301
Chicago Public Schools District 299
Diocese of Joliet Education Office
Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7
Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205
Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401
Galesburg Community Unit School District 205
Grayslake High School District 127
Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204
Joliet Township High School District 204
Lake Forest High School District 115
Lake Park Community High School District 108
Lincoln Way Community High School District 210
Maine Township High School District 207
Oswego Community Unit School District 308
Ridgewood High School District 234
Community Unit School District 300
St. Charles Community Unit School District 303
Thornton Township High School District 205
Township High School District 211
Township High School District 214
Triad Community School District 2
Urbana School District 116
Warren Township High School District 121
Wauconda Community School District 118
Zion Benton Township High School District 126