Roughly a quarter — or less — of Jackson County high school graduates are ready for college-level coursework, according to results from the ACT test. The ACT is an optional test and is similar to the SAT. It is generally taken by students looking to attend college.
As with statewide results, recently-released school-level ACT reports show that many local high school graduates may not have the skills needed for success for the first year of college coursework.
Locally, East Jackson Comprehensive High School posted the highest percentage (28 percent) of its graduates ready for entry-level college coursework. Jefferson High School and Commerce High School follow with more than 20 percent of their graduates prepared for their higher educations.
But only six percent of graduates at Jackson County Comprehensive High School are ready for college coursework, according to 2011 ACT results. The school’s scores in each of the four areas of the ACT dropped from 2010.
Statewide, the composite score average this year was 20.6. EJCHS made the greatest gain in its composite score among local schools — from 18.7 to 20.9.
The ACT has established scores to determine if graduates are ready for college courses. In English, students need an 18; in math, it’s 22; reading is 21 and science is 24.
Other than English, students in Georgia fell below the benchmark by the ACT to show that they’re ready for college-level coursework. In Jackson County, results from all four high schools were also below the benchmark scores in math and science.
While more graduates in Jackson County are taking the ACT, it is still given to a relatively small number of students.
For example, 19 students at Commerce High School took the ACT in 2010 — compared to 30 this year. At 57, more graduates at Jefferson High School took the ACT in 2011 than the other high schools in Jackson County.
Most people I graduated with only took the ACT if the college they planned to attend wanted those scores in addition to the SAT. I don't think you can accurately say that only 28% of EJCHS's students are ready for college. Wouldn't that only be the 28% that actually took the ACT? And how many actually took the ACT? I believe, if you want a more accurate description of where local graduates stand in being prepared for college, you should look at the SAT scores because more students seem to take this test over the ACT. Let us know where the county stands then.