EHS students earn high marks on ACT scores

Published 9:18 am Thursday, February 26, 2015

The results are in: Elizabethton High School students are some of the highest academic performers in the state.

EHS students in the 2014 graduating class ranked ninth out of 120 school districts in the state that test with ACT on the ACT composite scores Director of Early Learning and Data Services Eddie Pless said.

“I think our faculty and students are to be commended,” Pless said. “A lot of effort and hard work went into making these scores a possibility.”

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EHS had a composite score of 20.9, Pless said, an improvement from the 2013 results of a composite of 20.5. Tennessee’s average ACT composite score is 19.8.

In the other subject areas, Pless said the EHS students either improved or held steady from the previous year. Elizabethton had a 20.9 on English. That was the same as last year, but it is also 12th best in the state and 2 points ahead of the statewide average of 18.9.

In math, EHS’s average score of 20.2 was an increase from the 2013 math average of 19.6. It was also 11th in the state and one point ahead of the state average of 19.2.

For the science portion of the test, Elizabethton ranked 21st in the state with a score of 20.1. This was an increase from 2013’s average of 19.9 and higher than the state average of 19.6.

A change in science teaching practices could lead to additional improvements for the science portion of the achievement test, Pless said.

“Before we taught biology, followed by chemistry,” Pless said. “We changed it to follow the ACT’s recommendation of starting with chemistry followed by biology. It will be interesting to see how that changes things.”

Saving “the best for last,” Pless said Elizabethton’s best ranking came in reading, where the students scored an immpressive 7th in the state with an average score of 21.8. The average is 2.2 points higher than the state average, and improves from 2013’s score of 21.1.

“Our students did very well,” Pless said. “They showed improvements in every area or kept on an even keel. That is a major accomplishment.”

The scores are even more telling because every junior at EHS is tested through the ACT, Pless said.

“We test 100 percent of our students,” Pless said. “Schools can adjust their scores by not letting every student take the test. We do not do that. 100 percent of the juniors at Elizabethton will be tested.”

The next testing day for EHS juniors will be March 3.