Seniors at Vidalia High School who took the American College Test (ACT) pulled down some of the best test scores in the state.
According to school Principal John Sharpe, Vidalia scores rank 11th in the state. "There were only ten school systems in the state that had higher ACT scores than Vidalia so we felt really good about that, especially when you look at the school systems which scored higher than Vidalia. They are generally affluent with much more resources and I don't think any of them were in South Georgia.
"I think it says a lot for our state because we led all southern states on the ACT score and showed an upward trend on the national level, so we felt good about being part of that," he said.
Sharpe says the ACT is perceived as less rigorous than the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) even though most colleges accept either when students apply.
Even so, he says the latest scores send a good message, "Like they say in coaching, you're only as good as your last ballgame. As far as academics, you're only as good as your last set of test scores. It validates what we're doing and we want to continue to work hard every day and give students the opportunity to get the best possible education and go on to excel at the collegiate level," he said.
AREA SCHOOL RANKINGS
SCHOOL NUMBER TESTED SCORE
Vidalia High School 40 22.2
Tattnall Co High School 42 20.5
Appling Co High School 71 19.0
Jeff Davis High School 28 18.8
Treutlen High School 28 18.5
Swainsboro High School 71 18.5
Metter High School 36 18.3
Toombs Co High School 64 18.1
Montgomery Co HS 29 18.1
Emanuel Co Institute 16 17.8
Wheeler Co High School 20 17.3
The Georgia Department of Education released the following information about the performance of state students on this year's ACT.
2015 ACT results show Georgia at the top of the pack among Southern states, outperforming Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Texas.
Georgia students also scored higher than those in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, Hawaii, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Georgia students’ average composite score increased from 20.8 last year to 21.0 this year, which is now equal to the national average. Georgia’s ACT rank jumped from 30th in 2014 to 28th this year.
“Georgia students’ ACT performance is on par with the nation and outpaces most other Southern states, and I’m pleased to see that,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “These results are a testament to the hard work of our teachers. I think we’ll continue to see gains as we realign our focus and implement child-focused, classroom-centered policies.”
Scores in English, reading and science increased, with the average English score rising from 20.3 to 20.6, reading from 21.4 to 21.6, and science from 20.7 to 20.9. The average math score held steady at 20.5.
Scores also increased among minority students in Georgia, with the average composite score rising from 17.6 to 17.8 for African American students, 19.9 to 20.1 for Hispanic/Latino students, and 21.0 to 21.4 for students of two or more races. Minority students in Georgia also outperformed their peers nationally: African American students in Georgia recorded an average composite score of 17.8, compared to 17.1 nationally. Hispanic/Latino students in Georgia recorded an average composite score of 20.1, compared to 18.9 nationally.
The number of Georgia’s high school students taking the ACT increased by 7.8 percent compared to the year prior, with a total of 54,653 students taking the test in 2015. Ninety-one percent of this year’s ACT-tested graduates aspired to go on to some type of post-secondary education.
Credit: Southeast Georgia Today