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For Immediate Release
June 16, 2004

Hundreds see AYP improve after participating in ISBE data verification process
State Board approves updated status lists

Springfield, Ill. – After verifying data for more than 800 schools, the Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday adopted the updated 2003 Academic Early Warning and Academic Watch school status lists. The board had initially approved the lists in March, but the status of 69 schools remained undetermined because their data from the 2003 Report Card was still under review.

Upon release of the report card data in November, ISBE staff reported data anomalies affecting calculations of schools’ Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Using specific criteria, staff initially identified nearly 400 schools that had obvious data errors. Subsequently, 400 more schools with similar data errors were added and given the opportunity to verify and correct their data. The inconsistencies ranged from inaccurate reporting of student subgroup participation and enrollment information to miscoding of students. Roughly half of the total that verified their data saw a change in their status for the better.

“We said throughout last year, as we approached this change in the way that AYP would be calculated, that accuracy does matter,” Schiller said. “The schools that went through this process recognize that data review is a vital part of having the status of their schools accurately identified.”

Schiller said that ISBE staff spent the past six months working with schools statewide to ensure the accurate review of their data. Just last week the agency opened the first correction window for the 2004 school assessment data. Schiller expressed concern that

175 schools have yet to report their test participation data even though they’ve had several months since state assessments were administered.

“This is a cooperative process and we have worked hard to keep districts and schools in the loop to ensure a quicker return of the School Report Card,” Schiller said. “It’s a two-way street, though. We can’t expedite the process if we don’t get the assessment information in a timely manner.”

The schools’ Academic Early Warning and Academic Watch status are based on 2003 test data to indicate school progress and is required by the School Code and the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The final results of recalculations show a total of 305 schools in Academic Early Warning Status (AEWS) – down from 664 in 2002. A total of 38 were removed from the lists, while 314 dropped to the Academic Watch Status (AWS). The number of schools on Academic Watch (the lowest category) increased from 49 in 2002 to 363 in 2003. Seven schools have closed or have been reconfigured.


Beginning with 2003 testing, the AYP criteria were revised to reflect the requirements of NCLB legislation and include the following:

  • Schools must meet the 95% participation rate on state assessments, in the aggregate and for all subgroups.
  • Schools must meet the target of 40% meeting or exceeding state standards (reading and mathematics only).
  • Schools must meet the 88% attendance rate for elementary and middle schools and a 65% graduation rate for high schools.

A school becomes eligible for placement on the Academic Early Warning Status when they do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years. Schools placed on Academic Watch are those that have failed to make AYP for two additional years after being placed on Academic Early Warning (or four annual calculations of missing AYP). Beginning with initial placement on the Academic Early Warning Status, schools prepare a School Improvement plan, or a revised plan for approval by their local school board.

The lists can be accessed in PDF or Excel spreadsheets through the following links:

Academic Watch List

Academic Early Warning List

Thirty-eight schools have been removed from the Academic Early Warning list. The list of Removed Schools can be accessed at:

The list of the more than 800 schools to whom verification materials were sent can be viewed at:

Status AFTER recalculations:

More information on the terms and a flow chart of designations is available at

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