City scores above state avg.

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brookhaven School District officials say they are thrilled withthe fact that 2007-08 ACT scores at city schools are above thestate average again, but that they will continue to strive to raisethe bar for their students.

“We’re pleased to be above the state average again for the fifthyear in a row, because that’s something we strive for every year,”School District Superintendent Lea Barrett said. “Obviously raisingtest scores is something we’re always trying to work toward in ourdistrict.”

Brookhaven schools posted an composite score of 19.1 on thecollege entrance exam compared to the state’s 18.9 average. Barrettsaid while it is always a real plus to be above the state average,school officials would still like to see the scores go up in futureyears.

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“We’ve gone down a little bit in the last few years, and I’m alittle disappointed in that,” she said. “I’d like to see us wellabove where we are now, though we’re happy to be where we are.”

In 2006, the district broke the 20 mark, with an composite scoreof 20.2 versus the state’s 18.8. Since then the district has stayedconsistently in the 19.0-19.1 range.

The only area where the school district’s scores for 2008 werebelow the state average in the subject breakdown was inmathematics, where Brookhaven students averaged 18.1 as opposed tothe state’s 18.2.

The city school district averaged a 19.5 in English while thestate averaged 19.3, a 19.5 in reading as opposed to the state’s19.1, and a 19.0 in science, compared with the state’s 18.7.

In addition, Barrett said, students who are enrolled in thecollege preparatory curriculum, as opposed to just completing basicgraduation requirements, averaged a 21.5 on the test, while theoverall numbers show all students who took the test for the2007-2008 school year.

Barrett said the schools provide voluntary ACT workshops thatinterested students can take. She said they take place onSaturdays, and while they are not mandatory, they do encouragestudents to learn what they can about taking the test and raisingtheir scores.

Currently the district is researching options to reward studentsfor their efforts with credits. Lincoln County schools offer half acredit for ACT preparation courses.

“We’re looking into offering credits for both the ACT and SATpreparation,” said Barrett.

The statistics are based on 115 students who took the ACT, andBarrett said the higher the number of students that take the test,the more dependable the results are.

“If you have more students that take it, of course you’re goingto have a more accurate sampling,” she said.