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Administrators examine ACT results

Equity disparities among race, gender exist


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The ACT is a curriculum- and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students’ academic readiness for college. The West Linn-Wilsonville School District is evaluating the latest American College Testing assessment scores in an effort to prepare students for college.

Administrators recently participated in an ACT workshop, which taught educators how to analyze test results and implement school programs based on those results. Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney presented the information at the Jan. 14 West Linn-Wilsonville School Board meeting.

“We are preparing to meet with teachers in the middle schools and high schools to look at the data and see how we can increase the quality of our programs,” she said.

The ACT is a curriculum- and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students’ academic readiness for college. Students are tested in English, mathematics, reading and science. The ACT Explore assessment is designed for grades eight and nine, and the ACT Plan assessment is designed for 10th grade.

Stickney said the ACT Explore program was instituted for eighth-graders in the district for the first time this year.

“The ACT test includes a personalized career inventory to help students explore areas of interest,” Stickney said, noting each student received a personalized report card. “It also provides a diagnostic student level analysis not only for the student but for the district.”

According to eighth-grade test results for the 2012-13 school year:

  • Seventy-four percent met college and career readiness standards in English.

  • Forty-three percent met college and career readiness standards in mathematics.

  • Sixty-three percent met college and career readiness standards in reading.

  • Thirty percent met college and career readiness standards in science.

    According to ninth-grade test results for the 2012-13 school year:

  • Seventy-nine percent met college and career readiness standards in English.

  • Forty-nine percent met college and career readiness standards in mathematics.

  • Sixty-three percent met college and career readiness standards in reading.

  • Forty-three percent met college and career readiness standards in science.

    Overall, students in the school district scored very well. Based on composite scores for eighth-graders, 34 percent scored in the top 25 percent nationally and 61 percent scored in the top 50 percent nationally.

    Based on composite scores for ninth-graders, 45 percent scored in the top 25 percent nationally and 75 percent scored in the top 50 percent nationally.

    But not all students scored the same. Asian and white students scored higher than black and Hispanic students in all areas. When gender comparisons were made, girls scored higher in English, reading and science, and boys scored higher in math.

    “There are still issues of equity amongst student learning. There is definitely work to be done,” Stickney said.

    In addition to individual student analysis, administrators plan to examine the following questions: Are there students with high ACT scores but low GPAs? Are there students with low ACT scores and high GPAs? What courses added the most value to student education? Are there courses that are not adding value?

    “We have learned a lot and we are in the process of digging into the data,” Stickney said. “I think it’s an important tool. So far, we are pleased with the work that is being done in this area.”




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