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NCSS ACT scores fall short of benchmarks
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COVINGTON- The Newton County School System (NCSS) announced the ACT scores from the 2014-2015 school year Wednesday afternoon.

While some individual school’s scores showed an improvement from the previous school year, the overall NCSS scores for the english, math, science and social studies portions of the test fell below the benchmark scores of the ACT, a series of curriculum-based, multiple choice tests that cover content knowledge in four basic skill areas.

A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject area to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining at least a B letter grade or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C letter grade in the corresponding college course. The ACT is graded on a scale from 0 to 36.

The 613 NCSS students received an overall score of 17.9 in the English section, with the benchmark being 18. The students received a math score of 17.9, with the benchmark set at 22. In social studies, the average score was 18.9, with the benchmark score of 22. The benchmark for science is 23 and the NCSS students received a score of 18.6.

NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey was not satisfied with the results from the test.

“I’m disappointed in our overall scores this year. They are not where I want them to be,” she said in a press release. “
At the school level, Alcovy High School posted minimal gains in english, math, and science. Overall, the school’s english score rose from 17.9 to 18.1, math score increased from 17.8 to 17.9 and science rose from 18.5 to 18.6. The school’s social studies drop to 18.6 from 19.2.

Eastside High School posted an increase of on the English portion of the ACT, going from 19.5 to 19.7, but the score dropped on both math and social studies, going from 19.3 to 18.9 and 21.2 to 20.8. The science score decreased by one tenth of one percent to 20.

Newton High School’s score fell in all four categories. The math score took a small dip to 17.3 from 17.4. The english score fell to 16.6 from 17.2. Both of the school’s science and social studies scores declined by seven-tenths, with science dropping from 18.5 to 17.8 and social studies decreasing from 18.8 to 18.1.

“Ensuring our students are competitive with regard to the ACT is a long-term commitment that begins in elementary school, with high quality instruction, high expectations, challenging coursework, and community and parental support,” said Fuhrey. “Students must actively participate in their education by working hard and focusing on their studies.”

The NCSS overall score of 18.4 was lower than both the state and the nation. The 54,653 Georgia students and the 1.9 million students across the country that took the test last school year both received an overall score of 21.