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5 Sensational School Success Stories

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Back view of student writing on white board

Morton School of Excellence


Chicago, IL

Morton School of Excellence educates students in pre-K through 8th grade, and in 2008, was one of the worst performing schools in Illinois. That year, the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a private company that specializes in repositioning underperforming schools, was contracted to manage Morton. The administration and teaching staffs were replaced and upgrades were made to the school, including turning the library into a modern multi-media center with the help of volunteers. Morton is also a Balanced Literary School, meaning the building is open seven days a week to allow teachers to come in to plan lessons.

In the three years since AUSL was contracted, Morton has gone on to make the second-largest test score gains in the city of Chicago. They proudly call themselves a 90-90-90 school — 90 percent low income, 90 percent African-American, and 90 percent of their students now meeting or exceeding the state's academic standards.

NexT: Harry S. Truman High School

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