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Published: Sun, September 10, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Greenville County exceeds state average on ACT but remains below national mark

Greenville County exceeds state average on ACT but remains below national mark

Based upon the report, Los Alamos High School class of 2017 had higher scores than in the past five years, and higher than the state as a whole.

Iowa and Nebraska high school graduates edged out the nation for another year on the ACT exam. Those results are steady increases from past year, when only 26 percent of students tested reached the math benchmarks. Aiken's overall composite score, averaging English, Math, Reading and Science, mirrors that of SC as a whole.

But the readiness rate for students with none of those demographic characteristics was six times as high, 54 percent, according to data released Thursday.

Composite scores for African-American students in Nebraska was 17.6; Native students was 17.9; and Hispanic students was 18.3.

S.C. high school students made improvements "across the board" in the second year that the state required all students to take a college readiness test. "We also use the ACT data trends beginning in kindergarten, as we are committed to college and career preparedness for all of our students". "The benchmark score for English Composition is 18 on the ACT English Test; College Algebra, 22 on the ACT Mathematics Test; Social Science, 22 on the ACT Reading Test; and Biology, 23 on the ACT Science Test". These indicators, among others, will help schools focus on increasing opportunities that prepare students for success in post-secondary opportunities. But it was the third highest among the 17 states where all graduates were tested, behind only Minnesota and Colorado.

"The ACT or the SAT, I mean they're not necessarily aligned to our set of standards within the state, but they do give a good comparison across the nation about how our kids compare nationally as well", he said.

Students must also have an ACT of 26, along with a 3.7 high school GPA, to qualify for the top level of HOPE, the Zell Miller Scholarship. Students last scored a 21 in 2014 and 2015.

Natasha Ushomirsky, a policy development director for the Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for disadvantaged students, said achievement gaps reflect long-standing disparities in the quality of teachers, rigor of curriculum and degree of academic support available to poor and minority children. "An increase of.3 percentage points is significant on the ACT, which consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science created to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework".

The ACT and the SAT are standardized tests taken as college entrance exams by students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade.

Additional resources include cost waivers for low-income students that allow them to take the ACT at no cost to the student.

The ACT's annual score report, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2017, slices up score data on the 2 million graduates who took the popular college entrance exam.

WorkKeys, which is the certification assessment to earn the Career Readiness Certificate, is another resource for students.

Females scored higher on the ACT exam (21.1 composite) than males counterparts (21 composite) for the first time. The Gold certificate level represents the foundational work readiness skills needed for 93 percent of the jobs recently profiled in the ACT JobPro® database.

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