ACT test scores slip for Guthrie, state; test participation sees an increase

ACT test scores slip for Guthrie, state; test participation sees an increase

Oklahoma increased its ACT participation by 29 percent in one year – the largest gain of ACT-tested graduates in the country. Guthrie Public Schools (GPS) increased their participation by nearly 23 percent.

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GPS Asst. Superintendent Doug Ogle presented a five-year ACT test trend for the high school during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

In 2017, participation throughout the state grew to 42,405 students from 32,854 in 2016. This change reflects efforts of a statewide 2016 pilot program in which the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) gave all high school juniors an opportunity to take the exam free of charge. The graduating class of 2017 was the first to participate in the voluntary program.

Guthrie High School (GHS) had 182 students take the test in 2017 compared to 145 in 2016 and 115 in 2013.

“By opening up the college entrance exam to all students, including those who otherwise might not have had access to the ACT, we are not only providing them an on-ramp to postsecondary education, we are gaining valuable insight into the skills gap we must overcome for our young people to be competitive nationally,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said.

With more students taking the college readiness assessment test, GPS and the state saw decreases in composite scores, English, mathematics, reading and science.

In 2017, GHS finished with a composite score of 18.3 percent, which was down from 19.5 percent the year before. For the state, the score went from 20.4 to 19.4 percent.

Nationwide, the average composite ACT score increased slightly, from 20.8 to 21, while the number of test-takers dropped by about 60,000 students.

GHS Principal Chris LeGrande says it’s not an excuse, but it’s reality that the decrease in numbers came when school districts were dealt with larger classrooms and fewer certified teachers due to a dip in education funding in the state.

LeGrande said they have set up a “power hour” to help students participate in an ACT course, which will allow students to practice questions and for the test. For seniors, an ACT elective math preparation class is being offered.

In Oklahoma, nearly half (47 percent) of the test-takers expressed an interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers.

English

2017 GHS – 17.3 — 2016 GHS – 18.7
2017 State – 18.5 — 2016 State – 19.8

Mathematics

2017 GHS – 17.7 — 2016 GHS – 18.5
2017 State – 18.5 — 2016 State – 19.5

Reading

2017 GHS – 19 — 2016 GHS – 20.6
2017 State – 20.1 — 2016 State – 21.3

Science

2017 GHS – 18.6 — 2016 GHS – 19.8
2017 State – 19.6 — 2016 State – 20.5

Composite

2017 GHS – 18.3 — 2016 GHS – 19.5
2017 State – 19.4 — 2016 State – 20.4

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