ACT scores for Lexington, Richland schools remain steady

The recent graduates from Lexington and Richland schools turned in positive results yet again on their ACT college entrance exams. In fact, two of the Midlands’ districts, Lexington One and Lexington-Richland Five, recorded an average score that landed them above the state and national averages.

Data released Wednesday by the S.C. Department of Education showed an increase of 0.2 points in the state average composite score, now up to 20.4; that figure accounts for all students public, private and homeschooled. Meanwhile, the national average fell by the same margin to 20.9.

The highest score a student can attain on the ACT is a 36.

In order to make instructional improvements, school officials will have to study data carefully when looking at the past two years. For 2013, ACT updated the benchmarks by one point for the science (reduced) and reading (raised) categories so the numbers can’t be compared as usual.

While seeing no change in its score from 2012 to 2013, Lexington-Richland Five holds the top spot locally with its graduated seniors scoring an average of 22.1. Statewide, the district recorded the third-highest composite score for public schools – something Superintendent Stephen Hefner is proud to commend.

“Retaining such high scores is a significant accomplishment considering the high percentage of students taking the ACT in our district. At 55 percent, we test more students than many other school districts,” he said. “All this illustrates that our teachers are committed to student success and making sure they are prepared for a great career or college.”

Lexington One came in at just 0.2 points behind Lexington-Richland Five with a composite score of 21.9. Breaking down numbers from each of the four high schools, three (Gilbert, Lexington and White Knoll) have an average score higher than the state benchmark. The average for Lexington High students is the highest in Lexington and Richland counties at 22.9 points.

Next in line for the Midlands is Richland Two with an average of 20.1. The district saw a slight decrease of 0.2 points from its 2012 scores.

Recording an increase in student scores was Lexington Two, the only district to do so. The average total jumped by 0.2 points to come in at 19.4 for 2013.

Lexington Three and Lexington Four declined a bit in a year’s time. Compiled data for the schools was still close to the state average at 19.7 points for Lexington Three and 19.1 for Lexington Four.

Rounding out the region is Richland One at an average score 18.2, just 0.1 points lower than 2012.

The ACT is taken by high school juniors and seniors and is offered at six different times during the school term. The entrance exam gauges a students’ grasp of English, mathematics, reading and science.

Categories: Education, Lexington County, Local News, Richland County