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News

 

Area   # Tested
  English   Math   Reading   Science   Composite
Alcovy   174   18.1   17.9
  18.7   18.6
  18.4
Eastside
  154   19.7
  18.9
  20.8
  20.0
  20.0
Newton
  285
   16.8    17.3    18.1   17.8   17.6
 NCSS    613    17.9    17.9    18.9   18.6    18.4
 Georgia    54,653    20.6    20.5    21.6    20.9    21.0
 Nation    1,924,436    20.4    20.8    21.4    20.9    21.0

Newton County School System (NCSS) recently received the 2015 ACT college entrance exam scores. The district posted slight dips on the English and Math portions of the exam, with each average score decreasing by two tenths of one percent. NCSS’s Science and Composite scores both decreased by four tenths of one percent. The school system dropped eight tenths of one percent in reading.

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 that cover content knowledge in four basic skill areas: English (College English Composition), math (College Algebra), reading (College Social Science), and science (College Biology). Students also receive a composite score on the exam, which is scored on a scale from 0 to 36. The ACT also has an optional writing test.

Through collaborative research with postsecondary institutions nationwide, the ACT has established the college readiness benchmark scores for designated courses—the minimum score 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 courses, which include English Composition, Algebra, Social Science and Biology. The College Readiness Benchmark Scores are:

  • English Composition                       18 on the ACT  English Test
  • Algebra                                                                22 on the ACT Mathematics Test
  • Social Sciences                                  22 on the ACT Reading Test
  • Biology                                                 23 on the ACT Science Test

 

SCHOOL LEVEL DATA

Alcovy High School not only saw an increase in test takers in 2015, but also posted gains in English, Math, and Science. Overall, the school’s English score rose from 17.9 to 18.1; Mathematics scores increased from 17.8 to 17.9; and Science rose from 18.5 to 18.6. Alcovy’s reading score did drop by six tenths of one percent, which caused a slight decrease of one tenth of one percent on the school’s composite score in 2015.

Eastside High School saw a decrease in the number of test takers, as thirty-six fewer students sat for the ACT in 2015. Eastside posted an increase of two tenths of one percent on the English portion of the ACT, going from 19.5 to 19.7, scores dropped by one tenth of one percent on both the ACT Science and ACT Composite in 2015. Eastside’s Math scores went from 19.3 to 18.9 and Reading scores dropped from 21.2 to 20.8—both indicating a four tenths of one percent decrease.

Newton High School saw an increase in the number of students taking the ACT in 2015. Newton’s Math score dropped one tenth of one percent in 2015, going from 17.4 to 17.3. English dropped four tenths of one percent, from 17.2 to 16.8 and the school’s ACT Composite decreased five tenths of one percent in 2015, going from 18.1 to 17.6. Both Newton High School’s Science and Reading scores declined by seven tenths of one percent this year, with Science dropping from 18.5 to 17.8 and Reading decreasing from 18.8 to 18.1.

“Alcovy posted gains in three subject areas, and Eastside saw an increase as well on the ACT and that’s good,” said Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS Superintendent.  “With that said, I’m disappointed in our overall scores this year. They are not where I want them to be. Last year, we posted gains almost across the board and that’s the upward trajectory we want to continue.  College entrance exams indicate a student’s potential to achieve passing grades when they enter a college or university; it’s our job to prepare our students so that they are academically equipped to succeed. Ensuring our students are competitive with regard to the ACT is a long-term commitment that begins in elementary school, with high quality instruction, high expectations, challenging coursework, and community and parental support.  Students must actively participate in their education by working hard and focusing on their studies.”

Fuhrey added, “We have begun pouring through the data to determine how to improve, so that our students are prepared to make choices about their lives after high school.”

For more information on Newton County School System’s 2015 ACT results, contact Dr. Allison Jordan, Director of Testing, Research, and Evaluation at jordan.allison@newton.k12.ga.us.

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