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PBHS exceeds state average on ACT

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School continued a tradition of strong performance on the ACT.

The average scores of 41 students who took the test were 23.5 in English, 24.2 in math, 24.8 in reading, 24 in science, and a 24.2 composite score.

The state average for each test is 21.4 in English, 21.7 in math, 22.3 in reading, 21.9 in science, and 22 composite score.

Last year with 42 students taking the test, HHS scored 22.8 in English, 24.5 in math, 24.2 in reading, and 24.2 in science, and a 24.1 composite score.

“We’ve performed well over the years on the ACT,” USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said.

Noble said Hillsboro High School’s block schedule allows teachers to do 10 to 15 minutes of ACT preparation in class throughout the year. Students use old practice tests to improve their knowledge of the ACT material.

Also, Hillsboro starts doing ACT preparation tests in middle school, according to Noble.

Peabody-Burns High School also exceeded the state average on the ACT. The averages of 21 students who took the test were 21.8 in English, 22.1 in math, 22 in reading, 21.9 in science, and a 22.1 composite score. PBHS students scored a 21.9 in English, 21.3 in math, 22.4 in reading, 22.5 in science, and a 22.2 composite score in 2009.

USD 398 Superintendent Rex Watson believes that PBHS’ ability to eclipse the state average was because of a large number of college-ready seniors in the 2009-10 graduating class.

“It just depends on the students taking it,” Watson said. “There was a higher percentage of college-bound kids last year than there will be this year. It’s dangerous to put a lot of stock in (the ACT).”

Goessel High School students also exceeded state averages on the ACT. The averages for 25 GHS students were 22.1 in English, 22 in math, 23.2 in reading, 21.7 in science, and a composite score of 22.4. GHS students averaged scores of 23.6 in English, 22.1 in math, 24.5 in reading, 22.7 in science, and a 23.3 composite score in 2009.

Marion High School had 49 students take the test. Their averages were 20.3 in English, 20.8 in math, 21.6 in reading, 21.2 in science, and a 21.1 composite score. The school failed to exceed state averages or its scores from last year of 21.8 in English, 21.9 in math, 22.1 in reading, 22 in science, and a 22.1 composite score.

While MHS had the largest number of students taking the ACT in Marion County, Centre High School had the smallest number. Nine CHS students averaged scores of 20.6 in English, 20.7 in math, 20.2 in reading, 19.9 in science, and a 20.4 composite score. Last year, 13 students averaged scores of 18.8 in English, 19.8 in math, 20 in reading, 21.4 in science, and a composite of 20.6.

Noble echoed Watson’s comments about taking ACT scores too seriously.

“A test score on a given day is a poor overall indicator of a school’s success,” he said.

Last modified Sept. 29, 2010

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