Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Louisiana's ACT scores decline, number of students taking test increases

Louisiana students scores on the ACT test dropped by two-tenths of a point this year, disappointing educators who had hoped for an increase over last year's record high achievement.

As Advocate reporter Will Sentell writes in this story, this year's Louisiana ACT scores averaged 20.1, a slight decline from the record 20.3 posted the year before. The national average, 21.1, remains the same as last year.

The decline can be partially explained by a 13% increase in the number of Louisiana students taking the test, say officials of the Southern Regional Education Board.

UPDATE: Here is the Department of Education's press release about the latest ACT scores. DOE spokesperson Renee Greer has a quote from ACT's Ed Colby that further explains how the expanded number of participants affected results:

“Generally, when the testing population expands so dramatically, it’s not
unusual for scores to go down, because it is likely that a more academically
diverse group of students is being tested. The fact that Louisiana’s overall
trend is positive is encouraging.”

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