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Georgia ACT scores unchanged

District scores still not available

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POSTED: September 3, 2013 9:55 a.m.

There was no change in American College Test scores by Georgia students, according to recently released results.
The ACT is one tool educators across the country have used to gauge students’ readiness for college for decades.
“The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, which are designed to measure the skills needed to be successful in the first year of college,” said Dr. Debbie Rodriguez, Liberty County School System assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. “Our goal is for all students to be prepared for college and work.”
ACT scores range from
1 to 36, and the composite score averages students’ scores in the subjects of English, math, reading and science.
The 2013 ACT scores for the nation as a whole and each state were released in late August.
The data shows Georgia’s composite score for this year, 20.7, was the same as last year’s. However, the national score had dropped from 21.1 to 20.9. ACT scores for individual school districts are not yet available, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
In 2011, the state’s composite ACT score was 20.6, department of education officials said. The number of Georgia students taking the ACT increased from 47,169 in 2012 to 48,505 students this past spring.
“I am proud to see our students’ scores gain ground on the national average on this important test,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “But we know there is much work to be done to ensure that every student is ready for college or a career when they graduate high school. We are headed in the right direction.”
African-American and Hispanic students in Georgia also outperformed the nation on the ACT, according to a Georgia BoE news release. For African-American students, the composite score was 17.5, compared to the national average of 16.9. Hispanic students saw a composite score of 19.9, compared to the nation’s 18.8. Caucasian students in Georgia had an average composite score of 22.8, outpacing the national average 22.2, said state board of education officials.
 “These numbers are very encouraging, but we must close the achievement gap between white and minority students,” Barge said. “As we implement the Career Pathways/Clusters initiative, I believe students will see more relevance in courses they are taking and will be more engaged in their academic careers. That will translate into an even larger number of students being ready for college and careers.”
Rodriguez said the district’s plan to improve ACT scores in Liberty County public schools is to work with both high schools and the Liberty College and Career Academy.
She said the system will strongly focus on “what students need to know for college and workplace readiness” and have high expectations for all students. LCSS will provide student counseling and guidance to “ensure that students have a rigorous high-school coursework plan.”
Rodriguez said the system also will provide benchmarks and common assessments to monitor students’ progress and will “check student progress along the way and make timely interventions for those students who are not being successful in their coursework.”
According to act.org, colleges use ACT results in admissions decisions, course placement, academic advising, and to identify candidates for scholarships and loans.

 

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