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Fulton's ACT participation at all-time high



August 25, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Participation rates on the annual ACT continue to climb among Fulton County high school students, with about half of all 2014 graduates taking the college entrance exams prior to graduation. Scores remained steady from last year, but continue to surpass both state and national averages.

"I'm proud more students are taking this rigorous test and setting their sights on college," said Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa. "The results show our teachers are preparing them for postsecondary success and we're making strides toward increased college readiness."

The average score from Fulton's 2014 graduates who took the ACT was 22.6, compared to the state average of 20.8 and the national average of 21. Maximum score on the ACT is 36.

"[College readiness] is one of our three strategic goals. We're trending in the right direction but we still have some progress to make," said Avossa.

Students from Northview High School continue to post the highest ACT average, with a composite average of 26.5 among its 2014 grads. They were followed close behind by Alpharetta High (25.6), Johns Creek (25.2), Milton (25.1) and Chattahoochee (25.0).

Thirty-eight percent (1,369) of seniors demonstrated college readiness in all four areas of the ACT – English, math, reading and science. This percentage was significantly higher than the state average of 24 percent and national average of 26 percent.

The college readiness benchmarks are scores on subject tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher; or a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding first-year college courses.

For example, a high school student who earns a 23 on the science section of the ACT would meet the benchmark in college biology and has the skills needed to earn a B or C. Other benchmarks include English (18), reading (22) and math (22). These numbers were determined based on a national sample of students currently in college.

Fulton Schools officials were pleased that scores remained unchanged on the ACT despite an increase in students taking the exams. Avossa explained scores traditionally tend to dip when the test-taking pool increases, but that is not the case in Fulton. The participation rate from 2014 graduates was a record 3,602 students, an increase of 369 students from the previous year.

Similar to the SAT, the ACT is commonly used for college admission and placement. It measures English, math, reading and science proficiency, with an optional writing section, whereas the SAT measures only math, reading and writing. More than 1.8 million students took the test in 2014, including 50,700 students in Georgia.

MH-8-27

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