Two hundred, thirty-three more students, totaling 1,189, took the ACT (American College Testing) this year than last. Since 2005, the number of Henry County ACT test-takers has increased 127 percent compared with the State’s increase of 55 percent. The ACT is one of the tests used by colleges as part of their admission process. It consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading, and science to measure skills needed for success in first-year college coursework.
“While students will pursue a variety of paths after high school, all students should be prepared for college and work,” says Superintendent Michael Surma. Through collaborative research with postsecondary institutions nationwide, ACT has established college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses. These benchmarks are set as minimum scores needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course. Henry County Schools is continuing efforts to improve students’ scores, especially in the areas mathematics and science.
“Research shows the rigor of high school coursework has the greatest impact on students’ performance on college entrance tests and readiness,” says Surma. Henry County students’ results are consistent with this finding as students who took Algebra 1, 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus scored an average of 24.6, as compared to 15.4 for the students taking less than 3 years of math courses. This is 1.3 points higher than the State average, and 2.6 points higher than the benchmark. Although the number of Henry County ACT test-takers increased 24 percent from last year, average ACT scores remain stable across the District.
“We will continue to encourage students to take more rigorous classes to be better prepared for all post-secondary educational plans,” says Greg Benton, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching Services. Henry County Schools is committed to ensuring educational success for all students. Elements of the action plan geared toward college readiness for students are: Creating a common focus, establishing high expectations for all, requiring a rigorous curriculum, providing student counseling, as well as measuring and evaluating progress.
“Our System goal is for Henry County students to score at or above the national average on the ACT,” says Benton.
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