ACT scores for Blaine County graduates continue to rise
The number of test takers increases this year after a four-year
By TRAVIS PURSER
Express Staff Writer
While ACT scores for Idahos graduating seniors dropped slightly
for the first time this year after several years of improving, scores for Blaine County
School District graduating seniors continued to rise.
Many colleges and universities accept American College Testing (ACT)
results instead of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores with applications.
Carey High School showed the greatest improvement with an increase in
the average composite score of 1.5 points from 18.8 in 1998 to 20.3 this year.
The average composite score for Wood River High School increased
seven-tenths of a point from 23.1 in 1998 to 23.8 this year.
Scores from The Community School and Silver Creek Alternative School
were not available.
Statewide, average composite ACT scores fell one-tenth of a point from
21.5 in 1988 to 21.4 this year.
When asked to comment on her schools continued improvement, WRHS
guidance counselor Donna Sipe, said, "I think each class has its own character.
Things change from school to school and from class to class."
Sipe said that she thinks every high school and every community is
different and that people often place too much emphasis on comparing scores.
But theres no denying the five years of improving scores at WRHS.
"I think that were preparing students better than we have in
the past," she said.
The Wood River Valley, she said, is "a highly motivated, demanding
community, which I think is great."
Carey High School counselor, Joanne Hauk could not be reached for
Another anomaly between state and local test statistics is in the
number of graduating seniors taking the test. While fewer seniors statewide took the test
this year, the number increased for both WRHS and Carey High School.
Again, the greatest increase was for the Carey school, which had almost
twice as many graduates take the test this year compared to last year. That increase is
significant considering that the number of graduates at the school taking the test has
decreased steadily from 20 in 1995 to 10 in 1998. This year, 18 Carey graduates tested.
The number of WRHS graduates taking the ACT has also decreased steadily
over the last several years from 80 in 1995 to 42 in 1998. This year, the number increased
slightly to 43 test takers.
Statewide, those numbers have steadily increased from about 9,300 test
takers in 1995 to about 10,200 in 1998. This year, however, approximately 10,000 graduates
tested, about 200 fewer.
One reason for the increased number of Blaine County students taking
the ACT could be that the county is testing students with learning disabilities for the
first time this year.
Sipe said she is excited that the community has a broader range of
students taking the ACT because it indicates that more students will be going to four-year