Beaufort News

Beaufort County 11th-graders outperform state on ACT exams

Beaufort County School District 11th-graders scored above average on the first statewide ACT college entrance exam, though other test results released Friday were mixed, according to the S.C. Department of Education.



Students exceeded state averages in all four subject areas of the ACT, some by more than 3 percentage points.



District third through eighth graders, meanwhile, outperformed the state in math but scored slightly below state averages in English language arts on the state's first ACT Aspire exams, which replaced SCPASS testing in those subjects.



Statewide, about 58 percent of third graders and 32 percent of eighth graders met the ACT benchmark in math. In Beaufort County, those numbers reached 58.9 percent and 33.9 percent.



While fourth graders in the district surpassed students statewide in the Aspire English exam, other graders came in slightly below average. For example, 33.3 percent of third graders statewide met the benchmark, compared to 30.8 in the district.



"Our district's first ACT results, and our ACT Aspire results in mathematics, are definitely encouraging," said Superintendent Jeff Moss. "But we have a lot of work ahead of us. We won't be satisfied until our students are scoring right up there with the state's highest performers."



The district also saw most social studies scores rise and most science scores slip on the SCPASS exams taken by fourth- through eighth-graders last spring. Math and english SCPASS tests were replaced with ACT Aspire exams last year.



Among district eighth-graders, for example, 71.7 percent met the social studies benchmark, up from 65.5 percent last year. They still lag behind the state by 1.7 percentage points.



And in science, only 60.3 percent of eighth-graders met the SCPASS benchmark, down from 68.9 percent last year -- and about 5 percentage points below the state. 



The High School Assessment Program was retired in 2014, and results from previous administrations of the test cannot be compared to the first ACT and ACT Aspire exam results.



"Our teachers and administrators have been working very hard, and certainly our students have, too," Moss said. "Our scores have been trending upward for the last few years, so our challenge is to keep that positive momentum going."



The new tests may not last, either, as the state board of education adopted new math and English language arts academic standards earlier this year and the department of education is still in the process of selecting next year's tests.


Visualizing the results

ACT Aspire

Tests in Jasper and Beaufort county elementary and middle schools

Percent scoring "In need" or "Close" in Jasper and Beaufort county elementaries and middle schools

Percent scoring "Ready" or "Exceeding" in Jasper and Beaufort county elementaries and middle schools

Percent scoring "In need" or "Close" in southern Beaufort County elementaries

Percent scoring "In need" or "Close" in northern Beaufort County elementary schools

Percent scoring "In need" or "Close" in Jasper County elementaries and middle schools

Percent scoring "Ready" or "Exceeding" in southern Beaufort County elementaries

Percent scoring "Ready" or "Exceeding" in northern Beaufort County elementaries

Percent scoring "Ready" or "Exceeding" in Jasper County elementaries and middle schools

Percent scoring "In need" or "Close" in Beaufort County middle schools

Percent scoring "Ready" or "Exceeding" in Beaufort County middle schools

ACT

Two important notes:

1. Ready/not ready percentages are not given for composite scores.

2. All scale scores except Writing are reported on a 1-36 scale. The Writing scale score ranges from 2-12.

Tests in Beaufort and Jasper county high schools

Percent scoring "Not ready" in Beaufort and Jasper county high schools

Percent scoring "Ready" in Beaufort and Jasper county high schools

Average scale score for Beaufort and Jasper county high schools

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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