UNION COUNTY — The Union County High School Class of 2017 performed slightly better than the Class of 2016 on a test that helps measure high school students’ readiness for college and careers
In a statement released this morning, Union County School District Chief Academic Officer Cindy Langley announced that the ACT scores of Union County High School seniors in the Class of 2017 improved slightly over the baseline established by the Class of 2016.”
Langley explained that “as part of the College and Career-Readiness Initiative in South Carolina, all students in public high schools take the ACT to measure college readiness in their junior year. As a result of this practice, which began in the spring of 2015, the score report for the Class of 2017 at Union County High School includes the scores of 265 seniors compared to 243 seniors in the Class of 2016.”
Overall, the district saw a significant increase in the ACT composite score and an even more significant increase in Science.
“The average composite score for Union County seniors in the Class of 2017 was 16.9 on the ACT’s 36-point scale, an increase of .3 points above the composite score of 16.6 for the Class of 2016,” Langley said. “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 designed to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework. Union County seniors showed the greatest gain in science improving from 16.7 to 17.5.”
Statewide, Langley said the composite score for public school students increased from 18.2 to 18.4.
Results By Subject
In English, the district’s score increased from 15.0 in 2016 to 15.1 in 2017. The statewide score increased from 17.0 to 17.1
In Mathematics, the district’s score increased from 16.9 in 2016 to 17.1 in 2017. The statewide score increased from 18.3 to 18.5
In Reading, the district’s score increased from 17.1 in 2016 to 17.3 in 2017. The statewide score increased from 18.7 to 18.9.
In Science, the district’s score increased from 16.7 in 2016 to 17.5 in 2017. The statewide score increased from 18.5 to 18.7.
“The ACT has established college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses,” Langley said. “Students meeting the minimum benchmark score have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher in the identified course or a 75 percent chance of scoring a C or higher. 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.”
In most areas, the percentage of students testing ready for college declined from 2016.
“Based upon the most recent scores, 23 percent of the students at Union County High School met the benchmark for College English compared to 33 percent in 2016; 12% for College Algebra compared to 14 percent; 21 percent for College Social Science compared to 20 percent; and 13 percent for College Biology compared to 9 percent,” Langley said. “Six percent of the students met the benchmark in all four areas compared to five percent in 2016.
“The greatest increase occurred in science,” she said. “A major concern is the decrease in the percentage of students ready for College English as well as the low percentage ready for success in all four areas.”
The district will now use analyze the ACT data to develop curriculum that will improve student readiness for college.
“Our next step is to analyze the data more thoroughly to determine how the students in the top 20 percent performed as well as how the students who take the most advanced courses performed,” Langley said. “We will use the data to identify the concepts that students need to know to be successful in college courses but that are missing from our curriculum including a review of the foundational skills needed. Most importantly, we will work to create a culture beginning at the elementary schools that all students will graduate from Union County High School college and career ready.”