ACT scores improve in city, county schools
By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Aug. 21, 2003
Meridian and Lauderdale County schools saw their students score better this year than the statewide average on the American College Test, better known as the ACT.
Sylvia Autry, interim superintendent of Meridian public schools, said students in the city who took the test scored better than the state average in every area except English.
The ACT analyzes high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading and science.
Many colleges and universities require applicants to take the ACT. Student scores on the test help determine whether they are admitted for the upcoming fall semester.
In Mississippi, 88 percent of high school seniors took the test this year and had an average composite score of 18.7. Last year, 84 percent took the test and had an average composite score of 18.6.
The highest possible score a student can receive on the ACT is a 36; the national average composite score was 20.8.
At Meridian High School, the only public high school in the city, 232 students took the ACT this year and had an average composite score of 18.8.
At Lauderdale County's four public high schools, 292 students took the test and had an average composite score of 19.3
Mike Ethridge, principal of West Lauderdale High School, said he would like to see his school's test scores improve. West Lauderdale had 113 students take the ACT; the average composite score was 19.7.
Ethridge said most students who don't receive high scores on the ACT have not taken rigorous classes in high school because those classes are not required for community or junior colleges.
Here is a look at average composite scores on the American College Test, which many colleges and universities use when considering prospective students.
The highest possible score is 36; the national average composite score was 20.8, while Mississippi's statewide average was 18.7.
Meridian High School: 232 students took the ACT; average composite score was 18.8.
Lamar School: 44 seniors took the ACT; average composite score was 23.2.
Calvary Christian School:
Information was not available.
Clarkdale High School: 50 students took the ACT; average composite score was 19.5.
Northeast High School: 81 students took the ACT; average composite score was 18.6.
Southeast High School: 48
students took the ACT; average composite score was 17.2.
West Lauderdale High School: 113 students took the ACT; average composite score was 19.7.
Sources: Meridian public schools, Lauderdale public schools and Lamar School