Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2004

Local students ‘competitive’ on ACT tests

August 26, 2004

A few percentage points is all that separates Basehor-Linwood High School students from exceeding many state and national averages on the ACT test, one of the two most widely accepted entrance examinations required of college-bound seniors.

"We're generally around the state and national average," said Bill Hatfield, Basehor-Linwood School District assistant superintendent. "We're competitive."

A five-year history of all graduating Basehor-Linwood High School seniors on the ACT assessment test indicates local students are scoring slightly below the Kansas average, but exceeding national averages.

The same ACT testing information indicates seniors with a college preparatory background are scoring just below both state and national averages.

This summer, the Education and Workforce Research Service organization sent the ACT testing history of BLHS students to officials in the Basehor-Linwood School District. All college-bound seniors are required to take either the SAT or ACT examinations before enrolling in a four-year state school.

Two tables of information outlining the performance of BLHS students between the years of 1999 and 2003 were submitted to school officials.

The first table represents the scores of students that completed the recommended core college preparatory curriculum.

The five-year average for BLHS is 21.5, which narrowly misses the state average of 22.6 and the national average of 21.8.

The second table, listing information for all students who took the ACT test, indicates BLHS's average is 21.2, again just fractions of percentage points behind the state average of 21.5 but above the national average of 20.9.

Although many universities have different entrance requirements, the five-year averages of all BLHS students and those taking the college-prep courses are above board for college enrollment.

The information sent to the school district indicates that the table presenting the testing history for the college-prep course students may be a more accurate reflection of the capabilities for college-bound students. However, school district officials said they prefer to look at the information presented for all students taking the test.

While the school district is neither disturbed nor satisfied with the results, Hatfield said administrators and high school officials continue to look for ways to enhance student preparations for the test and improve upon the test scores.

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