Seniors at the four high schools in posted a record-high district score on the ACT college entrance exam, marking the fourth consecutive year test scores rose, district officials announced Monday.
“Congratulations to our high school students, staff and families for this tremendous achievement, school board president Roger Bonuchi said at Monday’s school board meeting. “It’s a big deal.”
The 1,726 graduating seniors from , , and high schools taking the test recorded a 21.3 composite score, up from 20.7 the year before.
The six-tenths of a percentage point increase is statistically significant because of the relatively small size of the pool of test-takers, Bonuchi said.
For the first time since 2005, this year’s composite ACT score beat both the state average of 20.9 and the national average of 21.1. The highest possible score is a 36.
The ACT test measures a student’s readiness for college and is often used in college admissions selection.
District 202 officials said the district is increasing the rigor of the curriculum, aligning curriculum with state and national learning standards and increasing the opportunity for students to take more challenging classes, such as advanced placement courses.
Still district officials said not enough students are college-ready.
The percent of students who meet college readiness benchmarks needs to improve, Glenn Wood, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said in a statement.
This year, 25 percent of District 202 students met the benchmark in all four subjects (reading, math, English and science), which is the same as the state, according to district data.
In individual subjects, 68 percent met the benchmark for college English, compared to 65 percent statewide; 49 percent met benchmarks for college algebra, versus 44 percent statewide; and 30 percent met benchmarks for College Biology, equal to the statewide percentage. The benchmark score is a prediction of how well the students will do in that subject in college.
As a district, students increased their scores in reading, math, English and science, and exceeded the state average in all four subjects. The district exceeded the national average in math, English and science.
Plainfield North High School set a district-high score of 22.4 on its composite ACT score, up from a 19 in 2007.
Plainfield East High School recorded the greatest one-year increase from last year, up from a 19.6 in 2011 to a 20.5 in 2012.
Plainfield South High School posted a composite score of 20.9, which is an increase from 19.2 in 2005.
Plainfield Central High School’s score of 21.3 is equal to the district average and has been increasing gradually since 2008 when students scored a 19.3.