Analysis by Sun-Times staff reporter Art Golab
Use these tables – or this full database – to see which Illinois Elementary, Middle and High schools ranked in the top 50 in standardized testing in 2013. For details on how the analysis was performed, click here:
For a more than a decade, the Chicago Sun-Times has based its exclusive rankings of schools on average scores on state achievement tests, not on the percentage who meet state standards – a measure that has come under criticism.
Only 2013 reading and math results from the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests and the Prairie State Achievement Exams taken last March and April were analyzed.
Elementary school rankings are based on schools that tested at least two grades, third to fifth. Middle-school rankings reflect at least two tested grades, sixth through eighth. High school rankings are based on 11th-grade results. A K-8 school could be ranked among both elementary and middle schools.
The rankings use a statistical method called standardizing to analyze the “scale score” of every reading and math test statewide.
The method compares each test score with the state average and creates a school average that’s compared with other schools’ averages. Standardizing levels the playing field in years when one test might be harder to pass than others.
The rankings include percentiles, reflecting the percentage of Illinois students who scored the same as or worse than the average student at each ranked school.