The state broke the previous year’s records with ACT scores, but Coffee County School District fell behind. In 2017, Coffee County’s ACT average composite score was 19.6. The 2018 results dropped by .2, for a 19.4 average.
The ACT is a standardized test used as an entrance exam by most colleges and universities in the country. It covers four subject areas: math, science, English and reading.
Coffee County High School has one teacher who teaches two sections of ACT Preparation to about 30 students.
“The most recent ACT data we have received from the state is based upon students most recent ACT exam, which is not necessarily their best ACT score,” CHS Principal Paul Parsley explained. “The state uses our students’ highest score for accountability purposes.”
“We continue to explore and implement ways to improve upon both individual student as well as school-wide ACT scores,” Parsley said.
Another college entrance exam is the SAT. However, the SAT is not part of the high school accountability model, therefore CHS only offers the ACT.
The state’s average composite score for 2018 was 20.2, compared to last year’s 20.1, according to Education Department Commissioner Candice McQueen. Over 2,000 more students took the ACT this year compared to last year.
The 63,104 public school graduates who took the ACT increased their average score in most subject areas. The average ACT score for the public school graduating class of 2018 in each subject area was 19.7 in English, up 0.2 points; 19.5 in math, up 0.1 points; 20.7 in reading, up 0.3 points; and 20.3 in science, same as 2017, according to a statement from TDOE.
According to TDOE, “The class of 2018 was the second group to have access to a free opportunity to retake the ACT, which the department expanded to ensure more students can retake the exam. As Tennessee has removed barriers to retaking the ACT, the state has seen promising results from all students, specifically those who are economically disadvantaged, as previously noted. Nearly 52,000 students in the class of 2018 participated in the department's ACT Senior Retake Day last fall. Of those, nearly 40 percent increased their overall score. Tennessee is the first and only state to offer this opportunity on a statewide scale.”
The data released by TDOE on Wednesday, Oct. 31 reflects data submitted by school districts between Oct. 5-Oct. 19. There will be a second window in spring 2019 that may update the results, according to TDOE.