The ACT scores for the Gainesville school system are below the state average, which is below the national average.
From last year, the state scores have remained the same while national scores came down just a bit, according to information released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education.
Hall County has not yet received its district or school score information.
The Gainesville system scores remained the same from last year for math and reading, and went up one-tenth of a point for science. The English scores went down 0.3 point, bringing the school system’s composite score to 19.3, down one-tenth of a point from 2012 scores.
“Fifty percent more students have taken the ACT during each of the past two years,” said Jamey Moore, director of curriculum and instruction for Gainesville. “Students that take the full sequence of courses that are tested in each content area score substantially higher.”
The Gainesville system allows any student who wants to take the test to take it.
“The resulting increase in the number of test-takers leads to a higher number of students using the ACT scores to apply for post-secondary options,” Moore said.
In 2012, 146 Gainesville students took the test, while it went down slightly to 138 for 2013.
The composite score for Georgia was 20.7, remaining the same from last year. The national composite score average went from 21.1 to 20.9.
An estimated 51 percent of Georgia’s 2013 graduating class took the ACT.
“I am proud to see our students’ scores gain ground on the national average on this important test,” said state Superintendent John Barge. “But we know there is much work to be done to ensure that every student is ready for college or a career when they graduate high school. We are headed in the right direction.”
The ACT measures college readiness, with a benchmark score being the minimum needed to “indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher, in the corresponding credit-bearing college courses,” according to act.org. It consists of exams in English, reading, math, science and an optional writing portion. The 2013 benchmark scores were 18 for English, 22 for math, 22 for reading and 23 for science.
The exam is scored on a scale of up to 36.
“The national trend was for lower ACT scores,” Moore said. “We are pleased that our math, reading and science scores are bucking that trend.”