New­ton’s ACT scores drop

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

New­ton County School Sys­tem scores dropped slightly across the board on the 2013 ACT col­lege en­trance exam, and the dis­trict also saw a drop in the num­ber of test tak­ers com­pared with 2012.

The aver­age English score dropped from 18.3 in 2012 to 17.9 this year, while math de­creased from 18.3 to 17.8. Read­ing scores went from 19.4 in 2012 to 19.0 in 2013, and science saw a very slight de­crease, go­ing from 18.7 in 2012 to 18.6 in 2013. The ACT is scored on a 0 to 36 scale. As a re­sult of the score de­creases in each sub­ject, the dis­trict’s com­pos­ite score fell from 18.8 to 18.5 this year. Dis­trict scores and all school scores were be­low the state and national av­er­ages in 2013.

School level data

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial ACT re­port, Al­covy High School posted in­creases in the Read­ing, Science and Com­pos­ite score on the ACT in 2013. The school also saw an in­crease in test tak­ers, go­ing from 153 in 2012 to 184 in 2013. Read­ing scores in­creased from 18.7 to 18.8 in 2013 and science scores in­creased from 17.8 to 18.4 this year. The school matched its English score of 17.5 from the pre­vi­ous year and dipped slightly in Math­e­mat­ics, go­ing from 17.9 to 17.5. Over­all, the school’s com­pos­ite score in­creased from 18.1 in 2012 to 18.2 in 2013. East­side High School saw a de­crease in scores across the board in 2013; the school also had a de­crease in test tak­ers in 2013. East­side’s English score dropped from 20.5 in 2012 to 19.7 and math scores dropped from 19.9 to 19.1. The school’s read­ing scores dropped from 21.6 to 21.0 and science scores dropped from 20.7 to 20.0. As a re­sult the school’s com­pos­ite score fell from 20.8 in 2012 to 20.1 in 2013. New­ton High School posted a slight gain on the ACT science score this year, go­ing from 17.8 to 17.9; how­ever, the scores in the re­main­der of test­ing cat­e­gories de­creased in 2013. The school also saw a de­crease in the num­ber of test tak­ers. The school’s English score dropped from 17.3 in 2012 to 16.9 in 2013 and math­e­mat­ics scores dropped from 17.5 to 17.2. New­ton High School’s read­ing scores dropped from 18.2 to 17.9. The school’s com­pos­ite score dropped from 17.8 to 17.6 in 2013.

Col­lege readi­ness

Through col­lab­o­ra­tive re­search with post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions na­tion­wide, the ACT has es­tab­lished the fol­low­ing col­lege readi­ness bench­mark scores for des­ig­nated cour­ses:

• English Com­po­si­tion 18 on the ACT English Test

• Al­ge­bra 22 on the ACT Math­e­mat­ics Test

• So­cial Science 22 on the ACT Read­ing Test

• Bi­ol­ogy 23 on the ACT Science Test

Re­sults from the 2012 ACT show only 8 per­cent of those NCSS stu­dents who took the 2013 col­lege en­trance exam met the stan­dards in all four test­ing cat­e­gories and are con­sid­ered “ready for col­lege-level course­work,” com­pared with 26 per­cent na­tion­wide. A break­down of school-level re­sults in­di­cates that 8 per­cent of Al­covy; 14 per­cent of East­side; and 4 per­cent of New­ton High School stu­dents tak­ing the 2013 ACT are con­sid­ered “col­lege ready.”

“We are pleased with the im­prove­ments ex­pe­ri­enced by Al­covy High School,” said Sa­man­tha Fuhrey, Su­per­in­ten­dent of New­ton County Schools.

“As a dis­trict, how­ever, there is work to be done if we are to im­prove the col­lege-readi­ness of all of our test-tak­ers as mea­sured by the ACT. The move to the Com­mon Core Ge­or­gia Per­for­mance Stan­dards and the in­creased rigor as­so­ci­ated with the State’s new as­sess­ments will en­able us to ef­fect im­prove­ment over time.”

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.

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