In south Fulton, an average of composite scores among its six high schools on the college admission and placement test ACT dropped from 17.6 in 2017 to 17.2 in 2018.
According to the website of the Iowa City, Iowa-based nonprofit test administrator ACT, the test measures English, math, reading and science skills, “deemed important for success in first-year college courses.”
Its top score is 36.
The Georgia Department of Education reported statewide district and school composite results Oct. 17.
Banneker High School and Hapeville Charter Career Academy increased their scores.
Banneker rose from 16 to 16.4 and Hapeville went from 16.3 to 16.7.
According to a news release, they are among the 18 Fulton County School System’s high schools to achieve higher numbers than in 2017.
The district’s 23.7 composite score, although down from 23.8 in 2017, beat the state’s 21.4 and the nation’s 20.8 scores this year.
Scores also declined nationally, while the state’s composite score remained the same, the release stated.
More south Fulton students took the test this year, for a total of 812, up from 774 last year.
The district also had an increase in test takers, from 3,728 in 2017 to 3,736 in 2018.
Additionally, the district experienced an all-time high in the percentage of students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in all subject areas, according to the release.
Six schools in 2018, including Banneker and Creekside, increased the percentage of students meeting benchmarks that predict students’ success in college.
The benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject-area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher, in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses, according to the release.
Statewide, Georgia outperformed the U.S. on English, math, reading and science scores, which ACT does not release at the school and district level, and on the national composite score.
“Georgia’s average composite score of 21.4 held steady from 2017 to 2018 but was higher, for the third consecutive year and the third time in state history, than the national average of 20.8,” department spokeswoman Meghan Frick said in a statement.
Overall, Georgia ranked 24th in the nation on the ACT, she said.
State Superintendent Richard Woods said beating the national average is a testament to the hard work of students and educators.
“As we continue to expand the opportunities available to our students—rather than restricting them in the name of test preparation—I believe we’ll continue to see success,” he said in a statement.
The percentage of Georgia students meeting the benchmarks also surpassed the national average in English, reading and science, Frick said and matched it in math.
This year’s results also brought positive news in the area of equity, Frick said.
“Students in Georgia’s two largest minority groups significantly outperformed their counterparts nationally,” Frick said.
The average composite score for African-American students in Georgia was 18.0, compared to 16.9 nationally.
For Hispanic students in Georgia, the average composite score was 20.4, compared to 18.8 nationally.