MHS ACT scores below state average

News editor

The Marion High School graduating class of 2012 had an average score of 20.7 on the ACT college entrance exam — below the state average and below MHS 2011 scores.

Average scores on individual subject areas were 21.0 in math, 20.8 in reading, 20.7 in science, and 19.9 in English. The Kansas averages for 2012 graduates were 21.8 math, 22.3 reading, 21.7 science, and 21.3 English, with a 21.9 composite score. MHS average scores for 2011 were 22.8 math, 22.1 reading, 22.2 science, and 21.4 English, with a 22.1 composite score.

Three subject areas and the composite score were a four-year low for MHS. The average math score was better than 2010, when the average math score was 20.8.

Principal Tod Gordon said in an e-mail most MHS students take the ACT as juniors, coinciding with their final year taking state-mandated assessments. He said the 2012 graduating class also struggled on the state assessments their junior year. However, the class of 2013 fared better on state assessments as juniors, and partial returns show they did well on the ACT, Gordon said.

“The results of next year’s ACT are the scores I am looking forward to posting, and they will be very good, just the same as the state assessment scores,” he said. “Last year I was very excited with our state assessment results and excited with the results of the junior scores on ACT.”

One of the biggest things students can do to improve their ACT scores starts in freshman year or even eighth grade, Gordon said. Students who take the Kansas Scholar’s Curriculum — which is more rigorous than basic graduation requirements and admissions requirements for Kansas four-year universities — are generally better prepared than students who take the less rigorous curriculum for the ACT.

“We would like every student who enrolls to take the Kansas Scholar’s Curriculum, but it is a parent and student choice,” he said.

The Kansas Scholar’s Curriculum requires an extra math course and two extra foreign language courses. It also requires higher-level science courses than the qualified admissions curriculum.

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