2013-08-23 / Local News

Blacksburg High ACT scores above state average

By SCOTT POWELL
Ledger Staff Writer

Blacksburg High seniors scored above the state and national average on the ACT college entrance exam for the first time, according to scores released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

The ACT is a curriculum achievement test designed to measure academic skills taught in schools and considered important in first-year college courses.

The ACT is scored on a 36-point scale and consists of four tests in English, math, reading and science reasoning. One-tenth of an ACT point equals a 4-point gain on the SAT.

Blacksburg High saw its ACT scores increase from 17.7 in 2012 to 21.0 in 2013. Gaffney High ACT scores dropped from 19.4 in 2012 to 18.9 in 2013, which was the second-lowest among area high schools.

The state average this year was 20.1, a gain of 0.2 points from 2011. The national average was 20.9, a decrease of 0.2 points from the previous year.

The ACT test results were the latest in a string of good news Blacksburg High Principal Craig Bramlett has received this summer on student performance. Blacksburg High received a grade of “A” earlier in August on federal No Child Left Behind ratings and received a bronze medal in a U.S. News and World Report high school ranking report this spring.

“We are on a rollercoaster ride of good news right now. We are very excited about all the good things our students have achieved over the past several months,” Bramlett said. “We had 93 of the 124 seniors in our 2013 graduation class receive state LIFE scholarships, which will help these students to go on to college. Our teachers and parents have done a super job of motivating students.”

Overall, the Cherokee County School District saw its ACT scores for the Class of 2013 increase slightly from 19.1 in 2012 to 19.3 in 2013.

“I am very pleased with the increase of our district composite ACT score and I am also encouraged by this improvement,” Cherokee County Superintendent Dr. Quincie Moore said. “The ACT is a great indicator for preparation for college-level work and we will use these results to diagnose what we are doing instructionally in the classroom in order to get better results. We will continue to focus on offering rigorous coursework so that our students are college- or career-ready when they graduate and I do believe that we are headed firmly in that direction.”

All South Carolina colleges and universities accept either ACT or SAT scores for admission. The five South Carolina universities receiving the most scores from ACT test-takers are the University of South Carolina, Clemson, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and Winthrop.

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