ACT scores record high; still be­low state av­er­ages

The Covington News - - Local -

A record high num­ber of New­ton County School Sys­tem students took the ACT col­lege en­trance exam in 2012 and in the process, in­creased scores in three con­tent ar­eas (English, read­ing and sci­ence) and the composite score. The dis­trict also matched scores from the pre­vi­ous year on the math por­tion of the test. Al­though NCSS students in­creased or main­tained in each cat­e­gory, the dis­trict’s over­all scores are still be­low state and na­tional av­er­ages.

“Nat­u­rally, we’re pleased to see the in­creases ev­i­dent in the var­i­ous sub­tests of the ACT and in the over­all composite score,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Gary Mathews. “But, as I noted last year, we have a ways to go if we are to im­prove the col­lege readi­ness of our test tak­ers as mea­sured by these as­sess­ments. The move to the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards in NCSS, a more rig­or­ous cur­ricu­lum, should help in this re­gard over the long term.”

Un­like the SAT, a rea­son­ing test that mea­sures crit­i­cal think­ing skills and as­sesses how well a stu­dent an­a­lyzes and solves prob­lems, the ACT is a se­ries of cur­ricu­lum-based, mul­ti­ple choice tests that cover con­tent knowl­edge in four ba­sic skill ar­eas: English (col­lege English com­po­si­tion), math (col­lege al­ge­bra), read­ing (col­lege so­cial sci­ence), and sci­ence (col­lege bi­ol­ogy). Students also re­ceive a composite score on the exam, which is scored on a scale from 0 to 36. The ACT also has an op­tional writ­ing test. School level data

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial ACT re­port, Al­covy High School saw a de­crease in the num­ber of students tak­ing the test — go­ing from 196 in 2011 to 153 in 2012. The school posted gains in English and read­ing and matched its 2011 composite score of 18.1. Scores for math and sci­ence slightly de­creased in 2012. De­spite the gains in 2012, all scores were be­low the state and na­tional av­er­ages.

Even with 31 ad­di­tional students tak­ing the test, East­side High School students posted gains across the board on the 2012 ACT and beat state and na­tional scores in sev­eral cat­e­gories in the process. East­side High School’s 20.7 in Sci­ence and 20.8 on the composite bested state av­er­age scores. In ad­di­tion, the school’s 20.5 English score beat the state and matched the na­tional av­er­age. East­side students topped both their state and na­tional peers on the read­ing por­tion of the ACT in 2012.

New­ton High School students posted gains in three of the four test­ing cat­e­gories as well as the composite score in 2012. The school’s math score dipped slightly. More New­ton High School students took the ACT in 2012 than in pre­vi­ous years.

Al­though New­ton High is mak­ing gains, the school’s 2012 ACT scores were be­low state and na­tional av­er­ages.

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