Educators see ACT score drop among Mississippi juniors

Educators see ACT score drop among Mississippi juniors
The average ACT score among Mississippi juniors decreased from 18 in 2017 to 17.8 in 2018. Eight districts achieved an average composite of 20.0 or higher compared to 14 in 2017.

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The average ACT score of Mississippi high school juniors fell slightly in 2018. Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Education released ACT results for the spring 2018 statewide testing of all high school juniors.

The average score among juniors decreased from 18 in 2017 to 17.8 in 2018. Eight districts achieved an average composite of 20.0 or higher compared to 14 in 2017.

The percentage of 2018 Mississippi graduates meeting the benchmark scores for all four tested ACT subjects remained flat at 12 percent, and the percentage decreased among juniors from 10 percent in 2017 to nine percent in 2018.

“The 11th grade ACT administration measures college-readiness at a crucial time in high school when there is still time to provide interventions to improve achievement,” said Dr. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education. “ACT research shows that taking certain specific courses in high school substantially increases students’ readiness for college level work as well as their readiness for workforce training programs.”

Students who take four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science typically outperform their peers who report taking fewer courses in these subjects.

Through a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education and the Southern Regional Education Board, a group of pilot districts have been offering specialized literacy and math courses to high school seniors on the cusp of meeting the ACT benchmark scores. Starting in the 2018-19 school year, all districts are required to offer the specialized classes, the Essentials for College Literacy and the Essentials for College Math.

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and Mississippi community colleges allow students who earn a grade of 80 percent or higher in the specialized classes to enter credit-bearing courses when they start college.

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