Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2006

EHS ACT results mixed

August 31, 2006

Although the composite ACT test scores for Eudora USD 491 fell below the state average, district officials believe they're heading in the right direction.

Juniors who took the test last year surpassed both the state and national averages.

"I'm really excited about how this year's seniors performed," Superintendent Marty Kobza said. "We put some things in place last year to really help with ACT preparation. We really saw a significant difference in those scores. We're excited about that."

According to results released by the district, Eudora students achieved a composite score of 21.6 out of 36 in the national test.

Last year's seniors were slightly behind the state average of 21.8, scoring 20.8.

Last year's juniors surpassed the state average by almost a full point by averaging 22.6.

The college entrance exam tests high school seniors in areas of reading, math and science.

As a whole, the Cardinals surpassed the national ACT average of 21.1 by half a point.

"Overall the scores are pretty similar to earlier years," Eudora High School counselor Paul Walrod said. "We haven't had major incline or decrease or that kind of thing."

In all, the district reported a total of 105 scores with a total score of 2,268 points.

Mixed into the total were 49 scores taken by juniors. One sophomore and one freshman also attempted the test.

Not all students prepared the same way for the test, Walrod said.

"With those scores, we get a little of everything," he said.

The composite average takes all of the students' scores, including scores from students who took the test multiple times.

Both Walrod and Kobza predicted the scores would continue to climb. The district has started preparing students for the ACT earlier and earlier, they said.

Don Grosdidier directs the district's curriculum development and has studied this year's preliminary results.

"There's a couple of things that I guess want to point out. One is that we have really begun preparation on the ACT tests now as early as the eighth grade and it's part of the ACT Explore program," Grosdidier said. "The whole idea is to make kids start thinking about career plans as to what they might want to do, where their strengths lie, and then also help them decide what it's going to take in terms of preparation for the students to achieve those particular goals."

By giving students ample warning of where their scores might stand, some students might decide to take more challenging courses during their academic career, Grosdidier said.

The district separated the scores from those who have followed the Kansas Regents' core class guidelines against those who didn't.

According to the district's numbers, those who took the core class requirements scored an average of 22 points while those who didn't take the core classes only averaged 18.4 points.

"For the students to get the biggest bang for their buck to be in the best position to do well on the ACT test, they should follow that regents' required curriculum," Grosdidier said. "I think that's the key point parents and students should understand."

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