PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois high schools had the highest graduation rate in 13 years, one indicator that K-12 public education is shaking off learning lag during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are moving fast toward recovery, but we still have a significant distance to travel,” said state Superintendent of Education Tony Sanders. 

Sanders continued, “We are not done until we have a system that graduates each and every student ready for success.” 

The Illinois State Board of Education released its Illinois Report Card at 9 a.m. on Monday. Data from the 2022-23 school year show increased academic proficiency and gains for Black students.

The statewide four-year graduation rate was 87.6 percent. There have been gains every year since the state implemented evidence-based funding in 2018. 

Moreover, the graduation rate is up 4.5% since 2011. (The graduation rate in 2020 is considered inflated and not counted because of relaxed requirements related to the pandemic).  

Central Illinois graduation rates 

Seventeen of the 35 high schools in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and McLean counties had graduation rates above the state average. 

The highest was Tri-Valley and Lexington at 100%, Metamora at 96.2%, Normal West at 95.1%, LeRoy at 95% and Brimfield and Morton at 94%.  

Even the lowest – Delevan at 72% — was well above the 67% standard the state uses to designate schools requiring support. 

Key takeaways 

  • Assessments in English language arts showed a 16% year-over-year increase in student proficiency. That meant an additional 39,000 students mastered grade-level standards. Black students saw a 33% increase in proficiency. Assessments in math showed a comparatively smaller increase. — Sanders pointed out that Illinois’ benchmark for proficiency in both math and English is higher than 45 other states, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. 
  • The rate of ninth graders on track to graduate exceeds pre-pandemic levels at 87.4%. Rae Clementz, executive director of data, cited research from the University of Chicago that shows students who finish ninth grade on track to graduate are nearly four times as likely to graduate.  
  • A record 621,797 students took part in some sort of advanced coursework, such as Advanced Placement programs, International Baccalaureate, college dual credit or enrichment or honors courses. Hispanic students made some of the biggest gains in this category. 

Other findings 

The state has cut community college remediation rates by 40% since 2014, a math benchmark is that about 31% of eighth-graders are passing Algebra I and teacher retention reached 90% for the first time. 

The report notes that chronic absenteeism is a nation-wide concern. In Illinois, there was a 5% improvement from 2022 to 2023, but remains significantly high at 28.3%. A student who missed 10% or more of a school year is considered to be chronically absent.

How our local schools were graded on the report card

Illinois schools were graded with five possible designations. Starting from the best they are Exemplary, Commendable, Targeted Support, Comprehensive Support, and Intensive Support

CountySchool NameGrades servedDesignation
McLeanLeRoy High School9 – 12Commendable
McLeanLeRoy Junior High School7 – 8Commendable
McLeanLeRoy Elementary SchoolPK – 6Commendable
McLeanTri-Valley High School9 – 12Exemplary
McLeanTri-Valley Middle School4 – 8Commendable
McLeanTri-Valley Elem SchoolPK – 3Commendable
McLeanHeyworth Jr-Sr High School7 – 12Commendable
McLeanHeyworth Elem SchoolPK – 6Exemplary
McLeanNormal Community High
9 – 12Commendable
McLeanNormal Community West
High School
9 – 12Commendable
McLeanEugene Field School12Ungraded
McLeanYBMC Charter School11-12Ungraded
McLeanChiddix Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanParkside Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanKingsley Jr High School6 – 8Targeted
McLeanEvans Junior High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanSugar Creek Elem SchoolPK – 5Targeted
McLeanCedar Ridge Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanCarlock Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanFairview Elem SchoolPK – 5Commendable
McLeanGlenn Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanColene Hoose Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanHudson Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanOakdale Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanNorthpoint Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanParkside Elementary SchoolPK – 5Commendable
McLeanTowanda Elem SchoolK – 5Exemplary
McLeanPepper Ridge Elementary SchoolK – 5Targeted
McLeanPrairieland Elementary SchoolK – 5Exemplary
McLeanFox Creek Elementary SchoolK – 5Targeted
McLeanGrove Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanBenjamin Elem SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanBrigham ElementaryPKUngraded
McLeanLexington High School9 – 12Exemplary
McLeanLexington Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanLexington Elem SchoolPK – 5Exemplary
McLeanOlympia High School9 – 12Commendable
McLeanOlympia Middle School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanOlympia South Elem SchPK – 5Commendable
McLeanOlympia North Elem SchPK – 5Commendable
McLeanOlympia West Elem SchPK – 5Exemplary
McLeanRidgeview High School9 – 12Commendable
McLeanRidgeview Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanRidgeview Elementary SchoolPK – 5Commendable
McLeanBloomington High School9 – 12Commendable
McLeanBloomington Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
McLeanBent Elem SchoolK – 5Targeted
McLeanIrving Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanOakland Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
McLeanSheridan Elem SchoolK – 5Comprehensive
McLeanStevenson Elem SchoolK – 5Targeted
McLeanWashington Elem SchoolK – 5Exemplary
McLeanSarah A Raymond Sch of Early EducPKUngraded
PeoriaPleasant Valley Primary SchoolPK – 2Ungraded
PeoriaPleasant Valley Intermediate School3 – 8Targeted
PeoriaNorwood Elem School5 – 8Targeted
PeoriaNorwood Primary SchoolPK – 4Commendable
PeoriaBartonville Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaOak Grove SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaPleasant Hill Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaMonroe Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaManual High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaPeoria High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaRichwoods High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaQuest Charter School Academy5 – 12Commendable
PeoriaRolling Acres Middle School5 – 12Comprehensive
PeoriaSterling Middle School5 – 8Comprehensive
PeoriaVon Steuben Middle School5 – 8Targeted
PeoriaHarold B Dawson Middle School5 – 8Targeted
PeoriaLiberty Leadership Middle School5 – 8Commendable
PeoriaMark W Bills Middle School5 – 8Comprehensive
PeoriaReservoir Gifted School5 – 8Exemplary
PeoriaWhittier Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaDr Maude A Sanders Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaThe Elise Ford Allen AcademyK – 8Intensive
PeoriaFranklin Primary SchoolK – 4Intensive
PeoriaGlen Oak Comm Learning CntrK – 8Intensive
PeoriaAnnie Jo Gordon Comm Learning CntrK – 8Comprehensive
PeoriaHines Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaLincoln SchoolK – 8Targeted
PeoriaDr. C.T. Vivian Primary SchoolPK – 4Comprehensive
PeoriaKellar Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaNorthmoor Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaCharter Oak Primary SchoolK – 4Commendable
PeoriaTrewyn Primary SchoolK – 8Intensive
PeoriaValeska Hinton Early Ch Ed CtrPKUngraded
PeoriaFarmington Central High Sch9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaFarmington Central Jr High Sch6 – 8Targeted
PeoriaFarmington Central Elem SchPK – 5Commendable
PeoriaBrimfield High School9 – 12Exemplary
PeoriaBrimfield Grade SchoolPK – 8Exemplary
PeoriaLimestone Community High School9 – 12Targeted
PeoriaLimestone Walters Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaIl Valley Central High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaMossville Jr High6 – 8Commendable
PeoriaChillicothe Jr High6 – 8Commendable
PeoriaSouth Elementary SchoolPK – 3Commendable
PeoriaMossville Elementary SchoolPK – 5Commendable
PeoriaChillicothe Elementary Center4 – 5Commendable
PeoriaElmwood High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaElmwood Junior High School7 – 8Commendable
PeoriaElmwood Elem SchoolPK – 6Exemplary
PeoriaDunlap High School9 – 12Exemplary
PeoriaDunlap Middle School6 – 8Exemplary
PeoriaDunlap Valley Middle School6 – 8Commendable
PeoriaDunlap Grade SchoolK – 5Commendable
PeoriaWilder-Waite Grade SchoolK – 5Commendable
PeoriaBanner Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
PeoriaRidgeview Elementary SchoolK – 5Commendable
PeoriaHickory Grove Elementary SchoolPK – 5Commendable
PeoriaPeoria Heights High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaPeoria Heights Grade SchoolPK – 8Commendable
PeoriaPrinceville High School6 – 12Exemplary
PeoriaPrinceville Elem SchoolPK – 5Commendable
PeoriaIllini Bluffs High School9 – 12Commendable
PeoriaIllini Bluffs Elementary SchoolPK – 5Commendable
PeoriaIllini Bluffs Middle School6 – 8Commendable
PeoriaHollis Consolidated Grade SchK – 8Exemplary
TazewellJ L Hensey Elem SchoolPK – 3Commendable
TazewellBeverly Manor Elementary School4 – 8Commendable
TazewellCentral Intermediate Sch4 – 8Exemplary
TazewellCentral Primary SchPK – 3Exemplary
TazewellWashington Middle School5 – 8Commendable
TazewellLincoln Grade SchoolPK – 4Commendable
TazewellParkview Jr High School5 – 8Targeted
TazewellLaSalle Elem SchoolPK – 4Comprehensive
TazewellRobein Elem SchoolK – 8Commendable
TazewellCentral Jr High School6 – 8Commendable
TazewellArmstrong-Oakview Elem SchoolK – 2Commendable
TazewellP L Bolin Elem School3 – 5Commendable
TazewellGlendale Elem SchoolPK – 5Commendable
TazewellLincoln Elem School3 – 5Commendable
TazewellDon D Shute Elem SchoolK – 2Commendable
TazewellWoodrow Wilson Elem SchoolK – 2Commendable
TazewellRankin Elem SchoolK – 8Exemplary
TazewellMarquette Elem SchoolPK – 3Commendable
TazewellGeorgetown Middle School4 – 8Commendable
TazewellEdison Junior High School7 – 8Comprehensive
TazewellBroadmoor Junior High School7 – 8Commendable
TazewellJefferson Elem SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellC B Smith Elem SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellL E Starke Elem SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellScott Altman Primary SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellWillow Elem SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellWilson Intermediate School4 – 6Commendable
TazewellDirksen Elementary SchoolK – 3Commendable
TazewellWashington Intermediate School4 – 6Commendable
TazewellPekin Preschool Family Ed CenterPKUngraded
TazewellSouth Pekin Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
TazewellPekin Community High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellWashington Comm High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellEast Peoria High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellSpring Lake Elem SchoolK – 6Exemplary
TazewellDee-Mack High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellDee-Mack Intermediate School4 – 6Commendable
TazewellDee-Mack Primary/Jr HighPK – 8Exemplary
TazewellTremont High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellTremont Middle School5 – 8Commendable
TazewellTremont Elem SchoolPK – 4Commendable
TazewellDelavan High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellDelavan Jr High School7 – 8Commendable
TazewellDelavan Elementary SchoolPK – 6Commendable
TazewellMorton High School9 – 12Commendable
TazewellMorton Jr High School7 – 8Commendable
TazewellGrundy Elem SchoolPK – 6Exemplary
TazewellJefferson Elem SchoolPK – 6Commendable
TazewellLincoln Elem SchoolPK – 6Exemplary
TazewellLettie Brown Elementary SchoolPK – 6Commendable
WoodfordMetamora Grade SchoolPK – 8Commendable
WoodfordRiverview Elem SchoolPK – 8Commendable
WoodfordFieldcrest High School9 – 12Commendable
WoodfordFieldcrest Middle School6 – 8Commendable
WoodfordFieldcrest Primary SchoolPK – 2Commendable
WoodfordFieldcrest Intermediate School3 – 5Commendable
WoodfordEl Paso-Gridley High School9 – 12Commendable
WoodfordEPG Middle School5 – 8Commendable
WoodfordCentennial School3 – 4Commendable
WoodfordJefferson Park SchoolPK – 2Commendable
WoodfordLowpoint-Washburn Jr Sr High Sch6 – 12Commendable
WoodfordLowpoint-Washburn Elem SchoolPK – 5Commendable
WoodfordRoanoke-Benson High School9 – 12Commendable
WoodfordRoanoke-Benson Jr High School5 – 8Exemplary
WoodfordSowers Elementary SchoolK – 4Exemplary
WoodfordGermantown Hills Middle School5 – 8Commendable
WoodfordGermantown Hills Elementary SchK – 4Commendable
WoodfordMetamora High School9 – 12Exemplary
WoodfordEureka High School9 – 12Exemplary
WoodfordEureka Middle School5 – 8Exemplary
WoodfordDavenport Elem SchoolPK – 4Commendable
WoodfordCongerville Elem SchoolK – 4Exemplary
WoodfordGoodfield Elem SchoolK – 4Exemplary

District 87 released a statement that acknowledged the efforts made by all the schools in its district.

“District 87 remains committed to developing instructional programs that address learning gaps and prioritize student outcomes,” said Dr. Rummel, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning. “As one of the most diverse school districts in Illinois, District 87 prides itself on delivering equitable education to all students, ensuring they are prepared for life after they leave our schools.

Heyworth Community Unit School District #4 released a statement acknowledging their placement.

“We are thrilled to have achieved exemplary status on the Illinois School Report Card
for the 2023-2024 school year after narrowly missing out last year,” said Justin
Steve, Principal of Heyworth Elementary School. “This achievement is a testament to
the dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment of our entire school
community. We are incredibly proud of our students, teachers, and staff for their
outstanding contributions to this success.”

The full report card is available here.