The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

South Carolina ACT Test Scores Drop Slightly

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South Carolina’s performance on the ACT college entrance test dropped this year to an average score of 19.8, which ranks 46th in the nation. In 2008, the state’s average score was one-tenth of a point higher at 19.9. Possible scores on the test range from 11 to 36 points.

This chart shows South Carolina's performance on the ACT test since 2005.

This chart shows South Carolina's performance on the ACT test since 2005 as well as how the achievement gap between black and white students continues to grow.

According to the state’s ACT profile released this week by ACT Inc., South Carolina’s average score is 1.3 points behind the national average and 4.1 points behind the highest-performing state (Massachusetts).

South Carolina ranked behind most other Southeastern states, including North Carolina ( 21.6), Georgia (20.6), and Tennessee (20.6). Only Mississippi, Kentucky and Florida scored lower on the ACT among Southeastern states.

The achievement gap between black and white students also continued to expand. Composite scores for white students have increased from 21.3 to 21.9 since 2005. During that same period the performance of African American students has declined by one-tenth of a point from 16.5 to 16.4. This year alone, African-American scores remained flat while the average score of white test-takers improved from 21.7 to 21.9.

The results show public education in the state continues to leave many of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable students behind in failing schools. Choice and free-market competition would encourage innovative ideas in the classroom as well as reward ideas that improve performance and results.

South Carolina will spend more than $11,000 per child during the 2009-2010 year. Many failing schools already spend more than $15,000 per child — if money were the answer to the problem it would have been solved. Throwing money at the problem without fundamental reform will only ensure more tax dollars are wasted on a system in need of fundamental free-market reforms that empower parents with choice and give them options to the current failed system.

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Written by Bryan Cox

August 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Public education

Tagged with ,

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