Illinois Spotlight Schools are considered those that know how to help all students succeed. Since 2003, the State of Illinois has recognized Spotlight Schools — high-poverty schools where high academic performance is closing the “achievement gap.” These schools exhibit achievements that are contrary to the conventional wisdom that test scores will reflect demographics despite local efforts. The State of Illinois recently announced the 2011 Illinois Honor Roll and earning a place on this list is the Coretta Scott King Magnet School in University Park. Across the state,167 schools earned Spotlight School honors this year. This number is lower than in previous years, reflecting financial stresses in these high-poverty districts and rising criteria for AYP.
“We are excited to have earned the honor of being an Illinois Spotlight School. The entire staff of Coretta Scott King Magnet School works incredibly hard and it is great to see all that hard work rewarded,” said Principal Erin DeBartolo. “The students have also worked very hard to attain academic success. I cannot leave out another very important part of our school — the parents. We could never be this successful without the full support of our families. I am proud to say I am the principal of CSK!”
Criteria for selecting Spotlight Schools are rigorous. All schools must be making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which requires that at least 85% of the students must pass the state achievement tests in both reading and mathematics. At least half of the students in each school are from low-income families. As the AYP requirements continued to rise, the number of schools achieving this award leveled off in 2008 and has declined in succeeding years. Join District 201-U in celebrating Coretta Scott King Magnet School students and staff on earning the designation of a 2011 Illinois Spotlight School.