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NCSD Trustees, Officials Discuss ACT Scores

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

Natrona County School District trustees, school principals and officials discussed recent district-wide ACT results during a board of trustees work session on Monday.

Of the Natrona County students that took part in April’s testing, roughly 63 percent were proficient in math, 69 percent were proficient in reading and 44 percent were proficient in science.

The data also indicates that 24 percent of students were ready for college-level math, 38 percent were ready for college-level reading and 17 percent were ready for college-level science.

Mark Mathern, the Natrona County School District’s superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said the figures lag the statewide average.

“As a former superintendent used to say, we’re just chasing average – we’re just behind it,” Mathern said. “We’re trying to get over that hump and push a little bit higher.”

2013 was the first year the ACT was used as an accountability benchmark instead of the old Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students. ACT proficiency rates – 17 for math, 16 for reading and 20 for science – were calculated using prior PAWS benchmarks.

ACT considers a student scoring above 22 in math, 21 in reading and 24 to be ready for college. A student scoring over 25 in any subject is considered to be advanced.

Comparing statewide effect sizes, math and science scores were 18 percent of a standard deviation lower, English scores were 14 percent lower, reading scores were 15 percent lower and science scores were 18 percent lower. District officials consider an effect size 10 percent higher or lower to be at the state mean.

Mathern says professional learning communities will crunch the numbers and student goals will be set before the test is taken again by high school juniors in April 2014.

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