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Aiken County’s Class of 2017 scores lower on ACT than 2016

Posted: November 15, 2017 - 1:52am

Aiken County's Class of 2017 scored lower on ACT evaluations than their counterparts in 2016, but still topped statewide numbers in almost every category.

Students who graduated at the end of the last school year posted an overall composite score of 17.8, down from a composite score of 18.3 by 2016 graduates. But the 2017 graduates slightly edged the statewide composite score of 17.7.

The ACT - which tests skills in English, math, reading and science - is administered statewide, and students take it when they are 11th-graders. This is the second year it was given statewide, and the first year that scores could be compared year over year.

Aiken County tested 1,553 students who graduated in 2016 and 1,564 from 2017. The 2017 grads fell below their 2016 peers in English, 16.4 to 17; math, 18.1 to 18.5; reading, 18.2 to 18.7; and science, 18.2 to 18.6.

But the 2017 graduates finished ahead of statewide scores in math, 18.1 to 17.8; reading, 18.2 to 18; and science, 18.2 to 18. They lagged the state average of 16.6 in English with a score of 16.4.

In addition to composite scores, ACT reports separate College Readiness Benchmark scores as an indicator of college readiness. The benchmark score reflects the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test that statistically indicates the student has a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing college courses, which include English composition, algebra, social science, biology and STEM.

The 2016 class posted higher percentages of "meeting benchmarks" than its 2017 counterpart in all but the STEM category, where 2017 edged it, 9 percent to 8 percent.

Otherwise, 2016 scored higher in English, 41 percent to 36 percent; math, 24 percent to 21 percent; reading, 28 percent to 27 percent; and science, 19 percent to 18 percent.

"While we are pleased to see an increase in our STEM proficiency over last year's ACT results, we most appreciate having concrete data points which we will utilize to chart adjustments in curriculum," said Dr. DeeDee Washington,chief officer of instruction. "This year's ACT results have illuminated areas where additional focus is needed in order to ensure our students are poised for post-secondary success."

 

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