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Casey High juniors close to state average on mandatory ACT tests

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By Larry Rowell

The results from last year’s ACT scores for high school juniors were released last week showing that Casey County High students’ scores are just under the state-wide average.

Casey High’s average ACT composite was 17.6 while the state average ACT composite was 18.3.

By law, all of Kentucky’s public school juniors now take the ACT, which assesses English, reading, mathematics and science and is scored on a scale of 1 to 36.

In spring 2008, the first year of the mandatory testing, nearly 43,000 public school juniors took the ACT.

The college-preparatory exam helps predict the probability that students will earn a minimum C grade on first-year college courses if they score:

18 or higher on the ACT English test

22 or higher on the ACT math test

21 or higher on the ACT reading test

24 or higher on the ACT science test

Of the 144 Casey High juniors who took the test last spring, the results indicated that 38 percent are ready for college level coursework in English, 19 percent are ready for college math, 30 percent are ready for college reading and 10 percent are ready for college biology.

Statewide, 46 percent of juniors taking the test last spring are ready for college English, 20 percent are ready for college math, 33 percent are ready for college reading and 15 percent prepared for college science.

Barry Lee, principal at Casey County High, said he was very pleased with the first results.

“We want the scores to be higher, but overall, it gives us a baseline to work from,” he said.

Lee said that since every junior had to take the test, those not interested in attending college may not have given the test a great deal of interest. That could lower the overall composite average.

But for those students who have plans for college, Casey High partnered with Somerset Community College last year, Lee said, to sponsor a two-day ACT workshop to work with students who wanted to make a high grade. He said it also helped those students who are borderline on attending college.

Another source of help for students is the new curriculum coach, Lee said. Tracie Hoskins will use the test results from performance tests given to lower grades to determine areas where remedial work needs to be done.

The ACT results, along with other tests given to students in lower grades, will count as 5 percent of high schools’ total score under the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System. These results were to be released Wednesday.