Education

ACT scores are increasing in Mississippi

Jean Massey of the Mississippi Department of Education discusses state ACT scores before the Board of Education on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Jackson.
Jean Massey of the Mississippi Department of Education discusses state ACT scores before the Board of Education on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Jackson. AP

The Mississippi Department of Education released ACT score result averages for the state, although school district results won’t be released until Aug. 24.

A Department of Education press release highlighted takeaways from the 2015-16 ACT tests.

All Mississippi high school juniors took the ACT last school year. The ACT is designed to measure high school proficiency and college preparedness.

Average scores increased across the state in all four ACT subjects: English, math, reading and science. The average composite score increased from 17.6 in 2014-15 to 18.3 in 2015-16, the Education Department said.

“These score increases are encouraging and can be further improved if we continue to challenge high school students with higher level coursework,” state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright said. “It is important that students take the right kinds of courses in the right sequence so that they are prepared for college and for work.”

The Education Department said the percentage of students meeting the benchmark scores in all four tested subjects increased from 9 percent in 2014-15 to 11 percent in 2015-16.

An ACT benchmark score is the minimum score needed on a subject-area test to indicate they would pass the corresponding college-level course.

For students who scored below college admittance level, the Education Department said it would offer the Southern Regional Education Board’s senior year math and literacy readiness courses.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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