SSHS scores above state av­er­age on ACT

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Janelle Jessen Staff Writer ■

Siloam Springs High School’s ACT scores are higher than the state av­er­age and have stayed steady over the past year, Kelly Sve­bek re­ported to the school board on Tues­day evening.

Sve­bek is the district’s di­rec­tor of assess­ment and ac­count­abil­ity. In 2017, Siloam Springs grad­u­ates scored an av­er­age of 20.5 on the col­lege readi­ness

test, com­pared to a state av­er­age of 19.4 and a na­tional av­er­age of 21. Siloam Springs stu­dents also scored an av­er­age of 20.5 the pre­vi­ous year.

The ACT has four sec­tions,

cov­er­ing the ar­eas of English, math, read­ing and science, and is scored on a scale of 1 through 36.

The test scores Sve­bek pre­sented rep­re­sent the most re­cent test the grad­u­at­ing se­niors took, not nec­es­sar­ily their best test scores, she ex­plained. Some stu­dents take the test mul­ti­ple times, while oth­ers only take it once.

Arkansas be­gan pay­ing for all stu­dents to take the test in 2016 to open op­por­tu­ni­ties to all stu­dents. How­ever, the state ex­pe­ri­enced a drop in scores since all stu­dents are tak­ing the test in­stead of just col­lege bound stu­dents. The drop in scores is

typ­i­cal among states that have tran­si­tioned to of­fer the test to all stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to the Arkansas Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

The Siloam Springs School District saw a sim­i­lar drop in scores when the district be­gan pay­ing for all ju­niors to take the test at least once in 2015, Sve­bek said.

Only 18 states test 100 per­cent of stu­dents. Na­tion­ally, about 60 per­cent of grad­u­at­ing se­niors (2 mil­lion stu­dents) took the test.

Sve­bek said the good news is that the num­ber of His­panic stu­dents tested na­tion­wide con­tin­ues to grow, which in­creases ac­cess and op­por­tu­ni­ties for those stu­dents, Sve­bek said.

How­ever, 55 per­cent of 2017 grad­u­ates across the coun­try took the test only once. Tak­ing the test more than once has been shown to im­prove scores. Sve­bek said she didn’t have any data show­ing how many Siloam Springs stu­dents take the test more than once.

Janelle Jessen/Siloam Sun­day

Siloam Springs Schools an­nounced the teach­ers of the year at Thurs­day’s school board meet­ing. Pic­tured from left to right are: Tara Har­ris, In­ter­me­di­ate School teacher of the year; Natalie Hutto, South­side Ele­men­tary School teacher of the year; Lori...

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