Pearl River County high schools show improvements in ACT scores
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016
This year’s ACT scores for high schools statewide were recently released by the Mississippi Department of Education. Each high school in Pearl River County placed in the top half of the average scores in the state, and one school landed in the top 15 out of 152 schools.
Overall, Mississippi juniors’ average scores increased in the four ACT subjects since last year, with the average composite score increasing from 17.6 to 18.3. Those subjects include English, math, reading and science.
The ACT scores range from 1-36 in each category tested. The composite score is the average of all four category scores, with the highest possible composite being 36.
Pearl River Central High School ranked 12th in Mississippi with an above average composite score of 20.3.
“We are extremely excited about the success our students had this year and we want to continue to improve,” Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said. “This test is very important for these students to be able to have more scholarship opportunities when they go to college. It’s the first thing the colleges look at, so seeing our students do well means they have bright futures ahead of them.”
PRC’s strongest category overall was reading, with an average score of 20.8. Next was English with 20.4, science with 20.2 and mathematics with 19.5.
Lumpkin said the main reason he believes students were successful this year in the ACT was due to a “school-wide effort to prepare the students for what to expect.”
“Creating an ACT culture at the high school is what we strive to do so the students understand the importance of this test going forward,” Lumpkin said.
This year, the high school implemented an ACT prep course, which all juniors are required to take before they take the ACT. In this class, students are taught proper test-taking skills, test-taking strategies and are versed on what to expect, Lumpkin said.
“All of our teachers have done a good job of targeting those skills needed outside of this course also. We are all working hard to better these students’ futures and I am proud of everyone’s efforts,” Lumpkin said.
Poplarville High School’s average composite score ranked 38th. The school’s strongest category was reading, with an average score of 19.4. Their average science score was 19.3, while their average mathematics score was 18.7. Finally, their average English score was 18.4.
Picayune Memorial High School ranked 67th, with an average composite score of 17.9. The Picayune students’ strongest category was science with an 18.4 average score. Reading was the next highest average at the school at 18.3. Next was mathematics at 17.6 and then English at 16.9.