Tennessee public high school graduates slightly improved their performance on the ACT test in 2013, earning an average score of 19.3 out of 36, up from 19.2 in 2012, according to state-by-state results released by ACT in August. This marks the third year the average ACT score for Tennessee students has increased, from 19.0 in 2011.
Students in the Moore County School system fell just below the state average, scoring an average of 19.0 in 2013 — significantly better than their average of 17.6 in 2012, but still well short of the 19.4 average that Moore County students scored in 2011.
Students in Moore County had a score of 18.8 in English, 18.0 in Math, 19.9 in Reading and an 18.6 in Science. The English and Reading scores were improvements of at least 2 points from 2012, while the Math score was up by .7 and the Science score was up by .8 — each small gains, but not enough to meet the state average.
“We need to focus more and more on doing the right things to make sure our students are college and career ready,” said Smith. “This year is a prime example. We changed our schedule from the traditional seven periods to the trimester. We did that to increase instruction time so that our scores would improve and that we would have more instruction time to ensure that our students are college and career ready.
“We need to align everything in the culture of this school with the mission of being college and career ready. If it’s not aligned with that, we need to change it and ask, ‘Why is this not aligned with making our students college and career ready.”
Even with the slight improvement from 2012, students in the state are hovering near the bottom of the ACT pile compared to other states, and Moore County’s students seem to fall in the middle of that group. With a composite score of 21, a student is considered ready for college classes. A perfect score on the ACT is 36.
Smith said that by and large, most state colleges are looking for students with a composite score of 21 and above, and that students hoping to obtain scholarships need to score at least in the mid to high 20s.
Smith added that last year — his first year as MCHS principal — he stressed to the faculty the importance of sharing information, especially where students were concerned.
For the complete story on local and statewide ACT scores and to see how MCHS stacked up against surrounding school systems, read see the Sept. 19 print edition of The Moore County News. To subscribe, click here.