Newton’s ACT scores drop
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.
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.