Despite an upward data trend in ACT scores, Oswego District
308 is actually seeing a lower composite average due to the implementation of a
new scoring system.
The new scoring system interprets ACT scores differently, according to assistant superintendent of teaching and learning Dr. Judy Minor.
“The state has now included students who are both conventional and extended time,” said Minor. “It does make a difference with how students ended up with their scores.”
Extended time refers to students who typically have special needs and are on an individualized educational program (IEP), explained Minor.
The average ACT composite score for Oswego High School in 2013 was 20.8 after the extended time score was added. Previously, the average would have been 21.5.
Oswego East saw similar numbers, with their average score dropping from 21.6 to now 20.7 with the additional scores.
However, both schools using the old system are still above the state average of 20.9.
Minor further explained that extended students scores tend to be 28 percent lower than their peers.
Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt said that a 21 composite score was not acceptable. “We’re at the status quo. Year after year we’re the same.”
Minor had several suggestions to get the ACT composite score up, including providing teachers with resources, establishing a viable curriculum with common core and defining a system of support district wide.
She also suggested the value of participation in Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
In documents provided to the board, she explained that an average who did not take any AP classes in their high school years had only a 17 percent chance of graduating from college within 5 years.
The percentage went up based on the amount of AP classes and exams taken and passed by the student. She suggested that 64 percent of students who took an AP class and passed the exam with a score of 3, 4 or 5 would graduate college within 5 years.
Wendt added that he did not think the school district should consider a “3” as a passing score.
Minor said that currently there are 685 students taking AP classes across the district, which is up 407 students since 2008. Last year 410 students took AP exams.
By high school, 13.7 percent of Oswego East students grades 10-12 took an AP exam last year and 67.7 earned a passing score. At Oswego High School, 12.1 percent of students in the same grade levels took an AP exam and 86.8 percent earned passing scores.
Minor will present a more thorough discussion of scores and dual-credit classes to the board in October.
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