Thursday, September 1, 2016

ACT excellence continues

Congratulations to the students of Oconee County Schools!  The 2016 ACT scores were recently released and Oconee County is once again leading the way.  The state of Georgia boasts 180 school systems and the performance of our students placed Oconee County with the 2nd highest ACT scores in the state for the second consecutive year.  This composite score continues a trend of consistent improvement over the last four years—2013 (23.2), 2014 (23.4), 2015 (23.6), and 2016 (23.8).
Name of School System
Graduation Year
# of Test-Takers
Average Composite Score
Rank
Forsyth County Schools
2016
1816
24.1
1
Oconee County Schools
2016
314
23.8
2
Fayette County Schools
2016
1155
23.6
3
Fulton County Schools
2016
  3692
23.2
4
Cherokee County Schools
2016
1623
23.1
5
Columbia County Schools
2016
570
23.0
6
City Schools of Decatur
2016
170
22.8
7
Buford City Schools
2016
159
22.8
7
Cobb County Schools
2016
4265
22.6
8
Gwinnett County Schools
2016
5255
22.3
9

In addition to the outstanding system achievement, our two high schools also received recognition as both student bodies placed in the top 25 out of over 400 Georgia high schools.  Oconee County High School ranked 15th with a composite score of 24.6 and North Oconee High School ranked 22nd with a composite score of 23.2. 

The total ACT score of 23.8 for Oconee County Schools outperformed both the state and national averages.  Georgia’s average composite score increased from 21.0 to 21.1 while the national average decreased from 21.0 to 20.8. 

A review of subject area testing finds Oconee County Schools with increased scores in three of the four ACT areas as compared to last year’s totals. English scores increased from 23.4 to 23.8; mathematics scores increased from 22.7 to 22.9; science scores increased from 23.4 to 23.5; and reading scores remained consistent at 24.4. State averages for English (20.7), mathematics (20.6), science (21.0), and reading (21.8) were all substantially below the performance of our students. 

Why do these scores matter? 

Simply stated, they can be used as a predictor for future college success.  Through collaborative research with postsecondary institutions nationwide, ACT has established college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses.  A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher in the correspondening credit-bearing college course.  English Composition requires a score of 18, college algebra requires a score of 22, social sciences require a score of 22, and biology requires a score of 23.  All the subject area averages of our students exceed these benchmarks, demonstrating that our students are indeed college and career ready.

What are your thoughts about tests like the ACT?  How do you feel these scores impact our students and our community?  Let me know your thoughts at jbranch@oconeeschools.org.


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