ACT scores remain below state average in Rockford’s public schools
Online Staff Report
Graduates of Rockford Public Schools (RPS) in 2012 who took the ACT test in their senior year had a composite score of 18.3, a number that was identical to the year before. The state’s composite score — 20.9 — was the same as last year, too.
The local scores were included in the College Readiness Letter from the ACT organization, which was released Aug. 22. The ACT is curriculum-based and measures educational development in English, math, reading and science. Proficiency on the ACT is associated with success in first-year college coursework.
While the five-year trend in district scores showed little change, the following are encouraging signs in the data, according to Dan Woestman, RPS executive director of accountability:
• Students who received a Biology, Chemistry and Physics sequence in the high schools scored 1.5 points higher than those taking less than three years of science courses (20.5 on the ACT Science section versus 18.0). This supports the district’s recent decision to increase required science courses for all high school students (starting with incoming freshmen).
• Students who were able to take Geometry during freshman year scored 4.1 points higher than those taking Algebra 1 during freshman year (20.7 on the Math section compared to 16.6). This supports the district offering an enrichment math course over the summer to prepare more students to take Geometry freshman year. This also supports the district’s decision to encourage students not to take Algebra 1 two years in a row, but rather move to the Geometry course when appropriate.
“ACT research has shown that it is the rigor of coursework — rather than simply the number of core courses — that has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness,” the ACT organization said in a news release.
A total of 1,365 seniors in RPS 205 took the ACT last year.
Posted Aug. 23, 2012
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