- Associated Press - Thursday, September 28, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Sixteen Illinois schools have been named “National Blue Ribbon Schools.”

The U.S. Department of Education announced the awardees Wednesday. The Illinois State Board of Education reports that the elementary, middle, and high schools represent 14 different school districts.

Enrollment at the schools ranges from 200 to 3,800 students and the percentage of low-income students is 8 percent at the low end to 60 percent.

Illinois’ honorees each received the “Exemplary High Performing Schools” designation. They have student achievement levels in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state in English and math. Or they have excellent achievement plus high attendance or graduation rates.

The Education Department started the program in 1982 to spread the word about how schools that do well make those marks.

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