DeKalb County ACT Scores Improve

August 21, 2006
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School's ACT scores improved in 2006, according to Supervisor of Instruction Carol Hendrix.

\"As we look at the high school and the five year trend, all our ACT scores in every subject area are up this year. English was up 1.5 points, Math up by .9, Reading up by 1.1, and Science up by .8 so we're doing a good job throughout.\"

Ninety-three percent of Tennessee graduates took the ACT in 2006 and achieved an average cumulative score greater than their 2005 peers. Tennessee?s average ACT score in 2006 is 20.7, higher than 12 of the 14 other Southern Regional Education Board member states. Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students in Tennessee scored higher than their peers nationwide. African American/black and Asian American/Pacific Islander students in Tennessee scored on par with their peers across the country.

?Seeing test scores rise even as the number of students tested increases is a good sign of forward progress,? Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. ?I am particularly heartened by the strides demonstrated by minority students in Tennessee who are keeping pace with or outperforming their peers nationwide.?

More graduates earned scores considered to indicate college readiness in 2006 than in all past years. Likewise, scores earned by Tennessee 10th graders taking the PLAN, a precursor to the ACT, show continuing upward trends in performance.

Students taking core courses performed significantly higher than students taking less than minimum core requirements as defined by ACT. This core includes four years of English and three years each of math, science and social studies. Sixty-two percent of Tennessee test takers met the minimum core subject requirements recommended by ACT.

?Clearly more students understand the benefits of taking challenging courses throughout high school,? Seivers said. ?While we need to increase the number of students demonstrating readiness for college-level work, Tennessee?s students continue to improve each year over the last.?

Tennessee is trying to provide more students access to challenging courses through the e4TN initiative, a project to develop online coursework for students whose school may not offer advanced level courses. Both the Governor?s Schools in the summer and dual enrollment courses give students an opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. Students may also pursue the Tennessee Scholars Program, which requires four credits each of English and math; three credits of science and social studies; one credit each of wellness, business/computer technology and fine arts; and 20 hours of community service.

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