DeKalb Seniors Show Improvement in ACT Scores

August 29, 2012
Dwayne Page
Lisa Cripps

DeKalb County High School seniors last year improved their performance on the ACT test in 2012, earning a composite score of 18.7, up from 17.9 the year before, according to a report released last week by the Tennessee Department of Education. A total of 168 students took the tests.

"Its inspiring to see the progress they made on the ACT," said Lisa Cripps, Secondary Supervisor for the local school system in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

DeKalb students improved somewhat in each area from 2011 to 2012 but still fell short of the state ACT averages. Cripps said local ACT scores began trending downward a couple of years ago after the state began requiring all eleventh graders to be tested. "We had a five year trend when we were really doing very well in 2008-09 but in 2010 we started testing all eleventh graders, whether they were college bound or not. We're only one of seven states that does that. As a result, we dropped down in our ACT scores," said Cripps.

"I'm really thrilled to say that we are back up almost a full point. I want to thank all the teachers because this is a building process where our middle schools and elementary schools all filter into that high school. This is just a real celebration for our high school and all teachers," she added.

The following are DeKalb County ACT results compared to the state averages for 2011 and 2012

DEKALB: 17.5 (2011) STATE: 19.4 (2011)
DEKALB: 18.7 (2012) STATE: 19.6 (2012)

DEKALB: 17.3 (2011) STATE: 19 (2011)
DEKALB: 17.6 (2012) STATE: 19.1 (2012)

DEKALB: 18 (2011) STATE:19.7 (2011)
DEKALB: 19.1 (2012) STATE:19.9 (2012)

DEKALB: 18.1 (2011) STATE:19.4 (2011)
DEKALB: 18.9 (2012) STATE:19.6 (2012)

DEKALB: 17.9 (2011) STATE:19.5 (2011)
DEKALB: 18.7 (2012) STATE:19.7 (2012)

Statewide, ACT scores for the high school class of 2012 show a slight improvement in all four subject areas — English, math, reading and science.

All public school students in Tennessee take the ACT in their senior year, which is over 68,000 students statewide, according to ACT results.

The average composite score for Tennessee seniors in 2012 was 19.7, a small increase over the average composite score in 2011 of 19.5. The percentage of Tennessee students earning scores that indicate readiness for college courses also increased in each of the subjects.

— In English, the average score increased to 19.6 this year from 19.4 last year. The percentage of students meeting the English college readiness benchmark was 59 percent this year, compared to 58 last year.

— In reading, the average score increased to 19.9 this year from 19.7 last year. The percentage of students meeting the reading college readiness benchmark was 43 percent this year, up from 41 percent last year.

— In mathematics, the average score was 19.1 this year, up from 19.0 last year. The percentage of students meeting the mathematics college readiness benchmark was 29 percent this year, an increase from 27 last year.

— In science, the average score increased to 19.6 this year from 19.4 last year. The percentage of students meeting the science college readiness benchmark was 21 percent this year, up from 20 percent last year.

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