South Carolina’s 2017 graduates earned an overall composite score of 18.7 compared to an average of 19.8 in the seventeen states that require all students take the test. This requirement, enacted through legislation and signed into law by then-Governor Haley on May 30, 2014, directed that beginning in the 2015-16 school year, all high school juniors take the ACT and WorkKeys to better identify college and career preparedness.
South Carolina students saw their scores on all four sections (English, Math, Reading and Science) of the ACT increase from 2016 results in addition to the overall composite score. The percentage of students meeting all four benchmarks also improved, but at just 15 percent, leaves significant room for improvement.
District 55 saw their scores on all four sections of the ACT decrease from 2016 results in addition to the overall composite score falling from a 16.8 in 2016 to a 16.3 in 2017.
“After looking at the data and trends, the state went up slightly and we are showing a slight decrease,” said Dr. Ameca Thomas, District 55 Director of Research, Testing and Accountability. “We are analyzing that data and putting systems in place to make sure that we can improve. We are using the new iLunch at LDHS to give ACT prep time during the student’s schedule. We are also putting systems in place to help reduce test anxiety among students. All students have different needs so we have to meet all of those needs.”
District 56 saw their scores on all four sections of the ACT increase from 2016 results in addition to the overall composite score.
According to ACT, the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are scores that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing courses.
"ACT’s annual College and Career Readiness report is one that should not be taken lightly, particularly as it relates to our traditionally undeserved students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “While we have made progress over the past year, we have significant ground to cover in order to meet our goal that every student graduates prepared for success.”
During the SC General Assembly’s past legislative session, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law, Act 94, which provides that beginning in 2017-2018, all eleventh graders must be offered the option of taking either the ACT or the SAT college readiness assessments. Additionally, as funds are available, the state will provide all students the opportunity to take or retake a college readiness assessment, career readiness assessment, and/or earn industry credentials or certifications in the twelfth grade at no cost to the student or parent.
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