File Cherokee graduation

The Georgia Department of Education reported the CCSD class of 2019’s average composite ACT score was 22.7, half a point down from the previous class.

About 200 fewer students in Cherokee County School District’s most recent graduating class took the ACT than the previous class, and despite a slight drop the district average stayed above the state’s, according to ACT data released Wednesday.

The Georgia Department of Education reported the CCSD class of 2019’s average composite ACT score was 22.7, half a point down from the previous class. A total of 1,598 CCSD students took the test, which is accepted for admissions to many colleges and universities.

The district’s high school students outperformed the state and the nation, which saw composite averages of 21.4 and 20.7, respectively. The state of Georgia overall held steady averages from last year’s results.

The ACT composite score, scored on a scale of 1-36, is the average of the student’s four required subject test scores, also on a 36-point scale: English, math, reading and science.

Like last year, averages in the district’s six traditional high schools remained within a one-point spread. The school-level average composite score was 22.1 at Cherokee High School, 22.9 at Creekview High School, 23.1 at Etowah High School, 22.7 at River Ridge High School, 22.9 at Sequoyah High School and 22.9 at Woodstock High School.

Also included in the report are percentages of students meeting ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, which predict students’ success in college courses. Higher percentages of CCSD ACT test-takers met these benchmarks than in Georgia and the U.S. In Cherokee County high schools, 78% of students met benchmarks in English (65% Georgia); 52% met benchmarks in math (40% Georgia); 61% met benchmarks in reading (50% Georgia); 50% met benchmarks in science (39% Georgia); 34% of CCSD students met benchmarks in all four subject areas (28% Georgia.)

“Outstanding ACT scores not only reflect the dedication of our students and teachers to ensuring mastery of knowledge, but also are a reliable indicator that our students graduate prepared for college and career success,” said Superintendent Brian Hightower. “We’re proud of them and are focused on ensuring each student we serve is future ready.”

Cherokee County School District ranks fourth among metro Atlanta school districts in ACT and seventh in the state. The district with the highest average score in Georgia was City Schools of Decatur, at 24.6.

As of this year’s results, Georgia is tied for 23rd in the nation on ACT.

“I’m extremely proud of our Georgia students – and the educators who prepare them each day – for beating the nation on the ACT once again,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I want to emphasize that this is only the fourth time in state history this has been accomplished. While there is still work to be done to ensure we are offering a well-rounded education and preparing every child for their next steps after high school, Georgia’s students and teachers continue achieve unprecedented success.”

ACT, the nonprofit that makes the test, reports this year’s graduating class nationally saw a slight drop in averages, and that there has been a longer-term decline in college readiness. Scores are based on 2019 high school graduates who took the ACT from grades 10-12.

ACT has announced changes to its test, beginning in September 2020, including the implementation of a “superscore” that combines the highest section scores from each attempt on the ACT to create the highest possible composite score for that student. And, students will be able to retake individual sections to improve their scores.

The ACT will be administered in CCSD four more times this school year. For the testing calendar, visit bit.ly/2NpeHeF.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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