Racine Unified continues to struggle with the ACT, the standardized test of high school achievement used for college admissions. ACT components include tests of academic achievement in English, math, reading and science.
Unified reported late Tuesday night that the district's overall scores, and those of students in every district high school except Walden, declined this year from 2008. Except for Walden, the district's scores, and that of students in each high school, are at their low point since 2003
The scores, in the spreadsheet from RUSD above, show that the district fell slightly below the national average, of 21.1, and substantially below the state average of 22.3. Unified's average ACT score was 20.5.
- The biggest decline came at Park High School, whose students' ACT average score dropped 1.3 points, from 20.9 to 19.6.
- Case HS students dropped 1.1 points, from 22.1 to 21.
- The REAL School dropped .9, from 20.8 to 19.9.
- Horlick HS dropped .3, from 20.9 to 20.6.
Unified's memo, by Dr. Stephen Miller, director of Standards, Assessment, and Accountability, and Jeff Weiss, director of Curriculum and Instruction, noted that state and national composite scores remained the same as last year. They said the number of RUSD students taking the ACT decreased from 755 in 2008 to 733 in 2009. Participation at the state level decreased less percentagewise, from 46,990 to 46,658.
The memo continues:
Strategies: Performance on the ACT will have increased importance as we move forward with our North Star vision, as this metric is a priority indicator of students’ preparation for college and/or career. Beginning with a review of disaggregated 2009 ACT data by administration, the conversation will be continued with school staff planning for the involvement of students in challenging core coursework. Enrollment in rigorous coursework is a key strategy for improving ACT performance.In June, three of Unified's high schools were on the state's Schools Identified for Improvement SIFI list, which is not a good thing. Case and Horlick missed meeting standards in reading, math and graduation rate, while Park missed in math, graduation rate and test participation
Longitudinal ACT data were provided for all high schools as part of the Data Retreat conducted last week in Racine Unified. These ACT data were considered when each school created their School Improvement Plan.