Baldwin High School Class of 2014 outperforms peers statewide on ACT
The Baldwin High School Class of 2014 outperformed their peers statewide on the ACT test they took last year but couldn’t sustain the lofty numbers established by the Class of 2013.
In results released last week, Kansas 2014 seniors posted an average score of 22 on a scale of 1 to 36 on the college readiness test. That was up from the 21.8 composite average of the previous year.
Seventy-five percent of 2014 seniors took the tests statewide and 57 percent took them nationally.
Kansas students surpassed the composite benchmark, indicating a level preparation needed to have at least a 50 percent chance of achieving a grade of B or above in entry-level college coursework.
“We are pleased with the increased number of Kansas high school graduates now taking the ACT,” said interim commissioner of the Kansas Department of Education and Baldwin High School graduate Brad Neuenswander in a press release. “This gives us a more complete picture of the college readiness of our students and helps inform state and local education decisions in Kansas. Our students continue to score ahead of the national average and our goal is to continue to increase the number of children meeting and exceeding established benchmarks.”
The average composite score of Baldwin seniors was 22.9, well above the state average and almost 2 points higher than the national composite average of 21.
Seniors in the class of 2013 posted a composite average of 23.8. Superintendent Paul Dorathy and Baldwin High School Principal Rob McKim said they understood it would be difficult to match or better the score that the very strong academic class of 2013 earned.
“We did go down some, but that’s still a pretty decent score,” Dorathy said. “Our goal has been 23.5 as an average. We did have some kids score up in the 30s.”
The average scores of BHS students in math, English, reading and science were all above the college preparedness benchmarks, Dorathy said. That was not true for the state as the statewide average in math was .03 points lower than the benchmark of 22 and 1.3 below the science benchmark of 23.
“Our students leave Baldwin High School ready to take on college courses,” Dorathy said.
McKim said 81 of the about 100 graduating 2014 seniors took the ACT. That was 11 more than the year before for about the same size senior class.
Dorathy and McKim said the district has made a number of curriculum changes to prepare students for college and, thus, success on ACTs. That includes offering advance placement and honors classes.
The high school offers a zero-hour ACT preparation session in which teachers go over likely questions and hand out printed test, McKim said. But he agreed with the Kansas Department of Education’s press release, which stated the best way to prepare for the ACT was to take the right classes.
“The best preparation in my opinion is the classes you’re taking,” he said.