ACT scores increase for fourth consecutive year in Louisiana public schools

BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - For the fourth consecutive year, public high school graduates in the class of 2017 have earned college-going scores on the ACT exam.

Louisiana’s public school average ACT score is now 19.6, an increase of 0.5 since 2013.

“Four straight years of gains on the ACT proves, beyond a doubt, that when you raise expectations for all students, they can achieve great things,” said State Superintendent John White. “It also proves that we can go further.”

In the graduating class, more than 25,000 earned a score of 18 or higher, allowing them admission to college without the need to retake high school classes.

In 2012, more than 18,000 graduates accomplished this level, increasing more than 7,000 students over the last five years.

Louisiana’s African American students have an average ACT score of 17.5, which exceeds the national average of 17. Historically, disadvantaged students, African American students, economically-disadvantaged students and students with disabilities-maintained performance on the ACT since last year. White said the progress has been noticeably increasing.

According to White, out of all the schools in Louisiana, there is one district that stands out.

“East Feliciana ranked number one in terms of the growth and the percentage of African American students scoring a 21 or higher,” he said. “Over the last five years, they have ranked number 5 in terms of the district's ability to grow low-income students to a score of 21 or higher.”

Iberia Parish made an impact on students with special education needs, as well.

“Iberia Parish ranked the highest in growth among students with special education needs to 21 or higher,” he said.

White said he expects schools to continue giving students challenging courses such as, mathematics.

“Our state has sustained progress over that period of time and that progress, also without question, must continue.”

The rating system will gradually require a 21 in order for schools to earn A-level points. According to White, it will reflect true academic readiness for the next phase of education.

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