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A preliminary report on ETHS students’ scores on the ACT test was presented at the Sept. 11 Board of Education meeting. While scores remain high, the school will have to find a new way of comparing trends in college readiness.

The State of Illinois has officially switched from administering the ACT free of charge to all high school juniors to using the SAT as a college entrance exam of sorts.

Board Member Jonathan Baum asked how or if the incoming SAT scores can be compared to historical data on the ACT, which dates back to 1972.

“I’ll have to come back to you with that,” said Pete Bavis, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. Bavis gave raw data showing how ACT scores from the 2017 cohort compared to scores in prior years. The numbers represent the scores of approximately 92% of the ETHS seniors who took the test. Scores for those who received extended time accommodations were not included before 2013. Each score is based on a scale of 0-36.

• The average composite score for the class of 2017 was 23.4, which is the third highest since 1973 and a continuation of a 10-year trend of ETHS students’ averaging a composite score of 23 or higher.

• The average English subtest score was 23.0, compared to 22.9 in 2012 and 23.8 in 2015.

 • The average math score was 23.4, the same as 2012, but slightly down from 23.8 in 2015.

 • The average score for reading was 23.6, compared to 22.9 in 2012 and 24.1 in 2015. 

• The science score came in as the second highest at 23.0, compared to 22.2 in 2012 and 23.4 in 2015.

Data on college readiness benchmarks from the 2016 cohort were also presented. The benchmarks are said to indicate whether a student has a 50% chance of obtaining a B or better in his or her freshman year of college in the areas tested. Forty-six percent of the class of 2016 met all four college readiness benchmarks, compared to 30% of all Illinois students.  In English, 70% met the benchmark, compared to 66% statewide. In math, 57% hit the mark, compared to 44% in Illinois. The reading benchmark was reached by 58% of ETHS students and 48% of students in Illinois, and for science, 54% of ETHS students compared to  39% statewide.

None of the data in the report were broken down by race, gender, or other student characteristics. 

Dr. Bavis said he will provide a more detailed review of the ACT scores at a future meeting once all data are received and analyzed by the District.

 “It’s good to go out on a high note,” said Superintendent Eric Witherspoon.