S.C. high school students gain ground on ACT scores

Bristow Marchant, thestate.com

A South Carolina high school student works in a laboratory. Photo by The State

S.C. high school students made improvements “across the board” in the second year that the state required all students to take a college readiness test.

S.C. students boosted the state’s average ACT score to 18.7 this year from 18.5 in 2016, according to an annual report.

In the 17 states that required all students to take the test, the average score was 19.8, according to the S.C. Department of Education. A perfect score on the ACT is 36.

Not only did students’ overall scores rise, the average score in all four sections of the test – English, math, reading and science – also increased from 2016.

Science saw the biggest increase — to 18.9 from 18.6. English scores went to 17.5 from 17.3, while the average score in reading rose to 19.1 from 19, and the average in math went to 18.6 from 18.5.

Despite the increase, the Education Department noted only 15 percent of students met benchmarks in all four areas. The department said it left “significant room for improvement.”

“ACT’s annual College and Career Readiness report is one that should not be taken lightly, particularly as it relates to our traditionally undeserved students,” said state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

“While we have made progress over the past year, we have significant ground to cover in order to meet our goal that every student graduates prepared for success.”

Bristow Marchant writes for thestate.com, where this article originally ran.