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Local students' scores far exceed state average

Students in Lake Oswego, Riverdale and West Linn-Wilsonville school districts exceled in the ACT

Are Lake Oswego, West Linn-Wilsonville and Riverdale high schoolers ready for college? If ACT scores released this week are any indication, they sure are.

Each local district’s scores on the college admissions test are well above the state average — and Oregon’s Composite Score is a smidge better than the nation’s, according to a report made public Wednesday by ACT officials.

The highest possible score in each test category — English, math, reading and science — is 36. A Composite Score is the average of the four test scores, and most states’ average scores fall well below the highest possible mark.

Most students who earn an overall score of 20 or 21 stand a good chance of getting accepting into “a considerable number of colleges,” according to the website for the Princeton Review, which offers test preparation services. Scores of 15 or less are considered low.

The national composite average last year was 21.

Oregon bested that by four-tenths of a point, and local students did even better: Lake Oswego School District’s Composite Score was 26.6; West Linn-Wilsonville’s score was 25; and Riverdale’s was 23.8.

Riverdale outshone the state in terms of participation. Oregon, at 36 percent, has one of the lowest percentages in the nation of students taking the ACT.

At Riverdale, participation approached 100 percent, at least for 12th-graders: 64 of Riverdale’s 65 seniors took the ACT, and 64 students graduated. The 65th student is working on getting a diploma this summer, Riverdale High School Principal Paula Robinson said.

“I’m really pleased with the hard work the kids put in and the staff put in,” Robinson said, “but I also realize that our kids are fortunate to have a high level of support from their parents as well, and I know that all of these three things work together.”

Some 254 Lake Oswego students — more than half of the student body — took the ACT. The number of participants has risen by more than 50 since 2010, said Joseph Morelock, Lake Oswego School District’s executive director of curriculum, assessment and educational programs.

“The community as a whole places a strong value on educational achievement: I think that’s reflected greatly in how students perform on national exams,” Morelock said.

In West Linn-Wilsonville, most students stick with the standard SAT college admissions exam, said Tim Woodley, the district’s director of operations. But the ACT is “one of many factors we use to help us see that students are prepared for college,” he said, and 121 WL-WV students took the ACT last year.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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