MADISON COUNTY —
ACT test results for Madison County and Berea Independent students were released Wednesday. The test was administered to juniors in March.
The ACT is a curriculum-based measure of college readiness in which students are tested in English, math, reading and science. The tests are scored on a scale of one to 36.
Beginning in 2008, state legislation mandated that all of Kentucky’s public school students participate in the Education Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) from ACT. The assessment begins in eighth grade with the EXPLORE test, 10th grade with the PLAN test and then 11th grade with the ACT.
ACT scores are used by many colleges and universities to make admission decisions and to place students in appropriate college courses. They also are used, along with high school grade point averages, to determine scholarship eligibility through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program, according to a release by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Administration of the ACT is part of the state’s Unbridled Learning accountability model, which includes a component focused on college/career readiness.
Students considered to be college-ready have met the state’s benchmarks for reading (20), English (18) and mathematics (19) on the ACT.
Meeting the systemwide standards of readiness “guarantees students access to credit-bearing course work without the need for developmental education or supplemental courses,” the report said.
However, the ACT data are just one component of the state’s College/Career Readiness Rate (CCRR). The CCRR also will be based on graduates who met benchmarks for tests that measure career-readiness such as the ASVAB (military aptitude), among other things.
Berea’s 65 juniors scored in the top 13 percent of schools in Kentucky with an average composite score of 20.5. The district also scored above the state average in all subject areas (see table).
“We are very proud of the hard work of our students, faculty and staff. It is our goal that all students are career and college ready. The ACT is an excellent indicator for our growth as a school toward this goal,” said Donna Lovell, BCHS principal.
During the first year of statewide assessment (2007-08), Berea had a composite score of 20.9, which exceeded the state average of 18.2. However, the district’s score declined the following year with an average of 18.3. The scores continued to improve every year since with a 19.8 (2009-10) and a 20.1 (2010-11).
This progression falls in line with the district’s three main goals: For all students to be college and career ready, to progress with each year of instruction and to be outstanding citizens, according to Debbie Coleman, director of districtwide services.
Madison County Schools/Model Laboratory results
The average combined score of juniors from Central, Southern and Model Laboratory (at EKU) was above the state average in three of the four areas tested, as well as the composite score (see table).
Although Model Laboratory is operated under a separate administration, their test scores are included in the ACT’s Madison County data.
“Our focus is on college and career readiness and these scores give us some indication of where we are with the rest of the state and nation,” said Randy Peffer, chief academic officer of Madison County Schools. “Clearly, we still have work to do in some content areas, but we feel good about the strides we are making and the new programs implemented in the district to help students continue to make progress toward their successful grade 13.”
Peffer said he was pleased that Central and Southern have shown growth in all content areas, but with the exception of math, a subject in which they fell 0.3 points below the state average of 18.8.
When statewide assessments began, the state composite was 18.2 and Madison County’s was 18.9. Currently, the county is 0.4 ahead of the state composite average of 19.0, according to a press release.
Model Director James Dantic said, “It is reassuring that as state curriculum and assessment mechanisms go through changes and transitions, that Model students continue to demonstrate academic excellence well above state and national levels.”
Model ranked 11th in the state in ACT scores, an accomplishment Dantic attributes to their teachers’ efforts to support education at high levels.
Middle College results
Juniors from the Middle College at Eastern Kentucky University scored above state averages in all content areas as well as above their district peers, with an average composite of 22.3. The score is 3.3 points above the state average (19.0) and 2.9 points above the district average (see table).
“These ACT scores provide evidence that the Middle College at EKU is having the positive impact on the students it serves,” said Superintendent Tommy Floyd.
Middle College in entering its second year and is intended to help high school juniors and seniors who are academically capable but at risk of dropping out of school, said Floyd, who was presented with the idea for Middle College by Dr. Terry Holliday, the Kentucky commissioner of education.
“The KDE’s financial support (around $100,000 a year) and Dr. Holliday’s leadership have also been instrumental in beginning the partnership and continuing it into the future,” Floyd added.
Crystal Wylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-1669, ext. 6696.
For all test results, visit: http://www.education.ky.gov/KDE/Administrative+Resources/Testing+and+Reporting+/Reports/2012+ACT+Tested+Juniors.htm