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Georgia ACT Scores Rise as Nation Slips

MEDIA CONTACT:  - GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487, dtofig@gadoe.org  - Governor's Office of Communications, (404) 651-7774  - ACT Media Relations Office, (319) 337-1028, ed.colby@act.org      AUGUST 13, 2008 – Georgia's ACT scores continued to rise in 2008, even as the national average dropped, according to results released today.     Additionally, high school seniors in Georgia’s three largest subgroups – Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic – outscored their peers across the nation.     “The 2008 ACT report is good news across the board,” said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. “In a year when the national average went down, Georgia saw improvement in all areas by all students.”     Governor Sonny Perdue said “This is yet another example of the positive momentum in Georgia’s schools as teachers, students and parents are working hard to improve student achievement and performance."     Georgia's composite ACT score rose to 20.6 in 2008, up from 20.3 in 2007. The national average dropped to 21.1, down .1 from 2007. Georgia’s scores also increased in every subject area tested by the ACT – English, Reading, Mathematics and Science -- and the state's national ranking increased to 41st, up from 44th last year and from 47th in 2002.     “These increases are happening even as more and more Georgia students are taking the ACT,” Superintendent Cox said. “There is still work to be done, but we are making tremendous progress in a short period of time.”     In 2008, about 38 percent of Georgia’s high school seniors took the ACT, an increase of about four percentage points from 2007. In the past five years, the number of seniors taking the ACT has increased from 20,510 to 33,238.     The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test designed to measure college readiness and preparation. The ACT includes four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics and science. There is also an optional writing portion. The exam is scored on a scale from 0 to 36.    AT OR ABOVE THE NATION      In 2008, Georgia’s African-American students scored .5 points higher than African-American students across the nation and Georgia’s Hispanic students scored 1.5 points higher than Hispanic students across the nation. For the first time in recent history, Georgia’s white students also outscored their peers across the nation.     “As is usually the case in Georgia, when you break down the numbers into subgroups, you get a truer picture of how we are doing as a state,” Superintendent Cox said. “Every subgroup is scoring above the national average and all boats are rising.”     Superintendent Cox pointed out that Georgia must continue its work to close the achievement gap between white students and minority students.     “We are making progress, but we still have a lot of work to do,” she said. “We’ll close that gap as we continue to provide a rigorous and relevant education to all students.”    SUPPORTING RIGOR      Superintendent Cox said the continued implementation of the Georgia Performance Standards and the states’ new graduation requirements will assure that there are high expectations for all students.     “The ACT report fully supports the work we are doing with our curriculum, especially in the area of Mathematics,” she said. "As we continue the implementation in high school I am confident we will see continued increases in our scores and, more importantly, the number of students who are college and work ready."     The ACT results show that students who take higher-level mathematics courses do better on the test. That means these students are more likely to get into the college of their choice and be prepared for the work they will face.     Students that took advanced mathematics and trigonometry courses scored 3.4 points higher than the national average math score. Those who also took calculus scored 7.3 points higher.     Beginning this year, all Georgia high school students will be required to take four years of mathematics in order to graduate. After four years of the state’s new mathematics curriculum, all students will have taken the equivalent of core mathematics, advanced mathematics and trigonometry. Accelerated students will also have taken the equivalent of calculus.     “We are preparing our students for the 21st century by requiring them to learn the skills and ideas that colleges and businesses expect,” Superintendent Cox said. “This will help secure the future of our students and provide a better-prepared workforce for Georgia’s businesses.”   MORE INFORMATION   SCHOOLS WITH THE 25 HIGHEST SCORES    District, Schools, ACT Score  COBB COUNTY, GEORGE WALTON COMP HIGH, 25  COLUMBIA COUNTY, LAKESIDE HIGH, 24.9  FAYETTE COUNTY, MCINTOSH HIGH, 24.8  FULTON COUNTY, NORTHVIEW HIGH, 24.6  FAYETTE COUNTY, STARR'S MILL HIGH, 24.2  CHATHAM COUNTY, SAVANNAH ARTS ACADEMY, 24.1  FULTON COUNTY, CHATTAHOOCHEE HIGH, 24.1  GWINNETT COUNTY, PARKVIEW HIGH, 24  FULTON COUNTY, ROSWELL HIGH, 23.9  GWINNETT COUNTY, BROOKWOOD HIGH, 23.8  MUSCOGEE COUNTY, COLUMBUS HIGH, 23.8  FULTON COUNTY, ALPHARETTA HIGH, 23.8  COBB COUNTY, WHEELER HIGH, 23.7  FULTON COUNTY, CENTENNIAL HIGH, 23.7  FULTON COUNTY, RIVERWOOD HIGH, 23.6  COBB COUNTY, ALAN C POPE HIGH, 23.5  OCONEE COUNTY, NORTH OCONEE HIGH, 23.5  FULTON COUNTY, MILTON HIGH, 23.5  DEKALB COUNTY, CHAMBLEE HIGH, 23.4  GWINNETT COUNTY, COLLINS HILL HIGH, 23.4  COBB COUNTY, LASSITER HIGH, 23.3  FORSYTH COUNTY, SOUTH FORSYTH HIGH, 23.3  GWINNETT COUNTY, DULUTH HIGH, 23  COBB COUNTY, KENNESAW MOUNTAIN HIGH, 22.9  DEKALB COUNTY, LAKESIDE HIGH, 22.9  GWINNETT COUNTY, PEACHTREE RIDGE HIGH, 22.9  OCONEE COUNTY, OCONEE COUNTY HIGH, 22.9    SCHOOLS WITH 25 MOST IMPROVED SCORES    District, High School, Score, Change   CLARKE COUNTY, CEDAR SHOALS HIGH 21.1, 3.4  HEARD COUNTY, HEARD COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE HIGH 20.7, 3.4  LAMAR COUNTY, LAMAR COUNTY COMP HIGH 20.2, 3.2  APPLING COUNTY, APPLING COUNTY HIGH 20.8, 3.1  TOWNS COUNTY, TOWNS COUNTY HIGH 21.5, 3.1  JACKSON COUNTY, JACKSON CO COMPREHENSIVE HIGH 22.1, 2.8  JONES COUNTY, JONES COUNTY HIGH 21, 2.5  UNION COUNTY, UNION COUNTY HIGH 21.4, 2.5  COLUMBIA COUNTY, LAKESIDE HIGH 24.9, 2.4  BARTOW COUNTY, ADAIRSVILLE HIGH 21.3, 2.3  RICHMOND COUNTY, AUGUSTUS R JOHNSON HEALTH 21.6, 2.2  BIBB COUNTY, NORTHEAST COMPREHENSIVE HIGH 17.2, 2.1  BURKE COUNTY, BURKE COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE HIGH 19.5, 2.1  BREMEN CITY, BREMEN HIGH 20.4, 2  DALTON CITY, DALTON HIGH 21.5, 2  JENKINS COUNTY, JENKINS COUNTY HIGH 19.3, 2  PAULDING COUNTY, PAULDING COUNTY HIGH 20, 2  BULLOCH COUNTY, SOUTHEAST BULLOCH CO HIGH 21.6, 1.9  DEKALB COUNTY, OPEN CAMPUS HIGH 17.8, 1.9  CHATHAM COUNTY, SOL C JOHNSON HIGH 18.5, 1.9  BRYAN COUNTY, BRYAN COUNTY HIGH 17.8, 1.8  EMANUEL COUNTY, SWAINSBORO HIGH 18.6, 1.8  CHATHAM COUNTY, SAVANNAH ARTS ACADEMY 24.1, 1.8  TERRELL COUNTY, TERRELL MIDDLE-HIGH 17.5, 1.8  THOMAS COUNTY, THOMAS COUNTY CENTRAL HIGH 20.9, 1.8   CHARTS AND RESULTS    SCHOOL-LEVEL RESULTS  (Microsoft Excel Required)