ACT scores for South Carolina’s public school graduates remained steady from 2011 to 2012, according to data released today by the ACT college examination organization.
In Georgia, overall performance on the college entrance exam rose slightly this year as the number of students taking the test continued to increase.
The scores in South Carolina reflect the mean scores of students who graduated in 2012 and took the exam at any time during their high school careers. The scores are based on a 36-point scale.
In both 2011 and 2012, South Carolina public school graduates had a mean composite score of 19.9.
Statewide mean scores remained the same from 2011 to 2012 for public school graduates in math and science – 20.1 and 19.9, respectively. Mean scores in English and reading increased by one-tenth of a point each, to 19.1 and 20.1, respectively.
When compared to nationwide mean scores, however, South Carolina still falls behind in each tested area. The largest gap for 2012 public school graduates is in English, with the nationwide mean score of 20.5, followed by reading with the nationwide mean score of 21.3.
“While college admissions tests are imperfect indicators of school effectiveness, the data confirms a trend: reading skills remain an area of great concern,” said state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais in a news release. “Nationwide assessments continue to show a reading gap between South Carolina and the nation. Addressing the reading gap must be our top priority because reading is fundamental to everything else in a student’s education. If a student cannot read, they will not succeed in school.”
Georgia students also trailed the national composite score, registering 20.7 on this year’s test, an increase over last year’s 20.6, according to a report released Wednesday. The national composite score was 21.1, which was unchanged from the Class of 2011.
Georgia did make slight gains in the science and reading portions of the test over last year, but declined slightly in math.
Public schools in Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina showed a one-tenth of a point increase in mean composite scores to 21.1 and 19.4, respectively.
In Aiken County, mean scores increased from 2011 by three-tenths of a point in English and four-tenths of a point in reading, while decreasing by one-tenth of a point in both math and science.
In Edgefield County, the mean score increased from 2011 by three-tenths of a point in English and by one-tenth of a point math, and decreased by two-tenths of a point in reading.
The county’s mean score in science remained the same from 2011.
To view South Carolina’s data by district and by school, visit ed.sc.gov.
Associated Press reports were used in this article.