Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County.More >>
Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County. More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - English, math, reading and science scores for Knox County high school students in the class of 2012 show a slight improvement.
The same is true for students across the state.
All public school students in Tennessee take the American College Testing (ACT) in their senior year. More than 68,000 2012 seniors statewide took the test, according to ACT results released Wednesday.
The average composite ACT score for Knox County seniors went from 20.4 for the class of 2011 to 20.6 for the class of 2012.
But Knox County Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntrye says there's still a way to go. "Our goal is to have the vast majority of our students to graduate successfully, on time and with an ACT score of 21 or better," he said.
Dr. McIntyre visited a freshmen class at Carter High School Wednesday. He hopes by their graduation, every member of the class of 2016 takes the ACT.
"I look at all the investments we've made in making sure we have high quality instruction in every classroom, every day and we're really starting to see the fruits of that labor pay off," McIntyre explained.
In three years, they've seen an increase of students taking the test. In 2012, they tested 3,605 students compared to 2.496 in 2008.
Dr. McItyre credits the goal to test every student as a reason for fluctuating scores each year.
"In some states, they only test kids that identify themselves as being college-bound and so that gives you a different population of kids that you're testing and could give you potentially different results. But Tennessee has made the commitment that we want to know where all of our kids are in terms of college and career readiness."
At 20.6, Knox County students don't meet the average score of an incoming freshman at the University of Tennessee. This year, the average score is a 27.
"We plan on staying in that range and we plan on attracting the top students," explained UT Assistant Provost of Enrollment Richard Bayer.
But Bayer insists ACT scores aren't the only thing they consider.
"The message we want to send to Knox County students is to work hard. It's more than just test scores. Test scores don't tell you everything about a student. It's only one factor. Take the challenging courses, stay on a college prep course, if you stay that course then I think the test scores will fall into place," Bayer said.
Bayer also said though that it's important to look at the numbers as a whole, and as a whole they're continuing to rise.
The composite score for all Tennessee seniors was a 19.7. The average statewide composite score in 2011 was 19.5.
The scores are used to predict a percentage of students ready for college courses.
The numbers also increased in each of the subjects, and again, Knox County students out-performed the statewide average.
In English, the average score for Knox County students increased to 20.8, compared to a score of 19.6 for all Tennessee students.
The percentage of Tennessee students meeting the benchmark for English college readiness was 59 percent this year. That's up one point from last year.
The average score for reading was 20.8 for Knox County students and 19.9 for the state. The percentage of Tennessee students ready for college reading requirements went up two points to 43 percent.
The average score for mathematics was 20.0 for Knox County and 19.1 for the state.
The percentage of students in the state meeting the mathematics college readiness benchmark is 29 percent this year, an increase from 27 percent last year.
In science, the average score was 20.5 in Knox County and 19.6 for all Tennessee students. Twenty-one percent of Tennessee students meet the science college readiness benchmark. That is also up one percent from last year.