- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Two Illinois schools have been recognized for helping low-income students achieve success in the classroom.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Thursday that Healy Elementary School in Chicago and Parkside Elementary School in Normal were honored during the annual National Title I Association conference.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith says the schools should be commended for “overcoming challenges related to teaching our neediest kids.” He says teachers, administrators and families deserve credit for helping kids succeed.

At Healy Elementary, where more than 86 percent of students are low-income, state test scores have shown high achievement for four consecutive years.

Parkside reduced an achievement gap among economic levels and racial and ethnic groups.

Former principal Shelly Erickson says the school made changes to provide more help with reading.

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