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Georgia’s ACT Results Improve as National Average Stays the Same

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MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, - Follow us on Twitter and Facebook
August 22, 2012 – Georgia high school students saw a small increase this year on their ACT results as the national average showed no change, according to the 2012 ACT report. One-year increases were seen in the composite scores (+0.1), reading (+0.2) and science (+0.2). English results were flat and math results decreased slightly (-0.1).  Overall results in Georgia increased this year even as the number of students tested increased from 47% in 2011 to 52% in 2012.
"I am pleased to see our students' scores headed in the right direction and the gap closing between Georgia and the national average,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "I think it is significant that our participation rate on the ACT increased considerably and we still have growth in overall scores.”
ACT Composite Scores
Fifty-two (52) percent of Georgia’s 2012 graduating seniors (47,169 students) took the ACT and had an average composite score of 20.7. This average is up .1 percentage point from last year’s 20.6 and .4 percentage point less than the national average of 21.1.
Georgia students are also outperforming the national average when scores are broken down by race. The 2012 ACT report shows that African-American students had an average composite score of 17.6, considerably higher than the national average of 17.0. Hispanic students had an average composite score of 19.9, a full point higher than the national average of 18.9. White students had an average composite score of 22.8, .4 percentage point higher than the national average of 22.4.
"It’s clear from this report that we outperform the national average when our results are broken out by subgroup,” said Superintendent Barge. "However, we still have gaps between subgroups that we must address.  If we' re going to close the gap with the nation then we must close the achievement gap between our subgroups."
College Readiness
The report reveals that more of Georgia’s students (10,377 in 2012 compared to 9,015 in 2011) demonstrated college and career readiness this year in all four areas (English, reading, mathematics, and science) of the test.
"I’m very pleased that more of our students are demonstrating college and career readiness," said Superintendent Barge. “As we implement the Career Pathways initiative, I believe students will begin seeing more relevance in courses they are taking, which will translate into an even higher percentage of our students scoring at college and career ready levels."
The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are based on the actual grades earned by students in college, define college and career readiness, and report student performance results relative to that goal.
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.