ACT scores at HHS outpace state, nation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 1, 1970

Harlan High School continues to outpace students from across the state on the ACT exam given each year, with an average composite score of 21.2 locally compared to a 20.0 from students across Kentucky.

The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading, and science designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college coursework. ACT scores for HHS students also exceed national levels in English, reading, and overall composite scores.

College readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit bearing college course. Meeting benchmark scores for students, guarantees entry into credit-bearing courses without the need for supplemental course work that generate no credit and cost the same a credit bearing courses.

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Superintendent Charles Morton sees value in the ACT scores beyond the classroom stating, “Year in and year out Harlan High School students continue to post strong ACT scores, which is a clear sign they are prepared for the work ahead on a college campus. Whether it is in college or career, students who can perform at a high level will find themselves invaluable wherever they may land.”

Nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) students tested met the college benchmark for College English Composition, up from 78 percent last year. Additionally, almost half (47 percent) of students also met the college benchmark for College Social Science.

Morton noted that the Kentucky Department of Education approved a new accountability system last month that will go beyond test scores and is intended to encourage continuous improvement for students. The new system will place a higher emphasis on proficiency and achievement gap closure for all students.

He went on to comment, “When nearly 90 percent of your students are able to meet the college benchmark in an area, it is a pretty good indication that you helping kids become proficient across all student groups, certainly a pattern you want to continue. We are dedicated to helping students achieve at the highest level. The faculty and staff work tirelessly to meet the needs of students while encouraging them to set high goals for themselves. Each year, our commitment to the students and families within our community is validated by the excellent work our students do on the ACT and the successful transition they make into the workforce or college campuses. There is no investment more valuable than helping prepare young people for a successful future.”