ACT scores hard to compare between statelines

ACT scores hard to compare between statelines

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Even with standardized test scores that spell out success for the Horry County School District, school leaders told WMBF news there are plans in place to keep that success going.

Spokesperson for the Horry County School District, Teal Britton, said SAT scores for Horry County climbed 46 points in one year. According to Britton, the county's average is actually above the national average.

Wallet Hub recently released a study that lists South Carolina for having some of the lowest median ACT scores. Britton said she can't comment on that study because it was not done by the state, but when looking at any data, it's important to know how the areas studied differ from each other.

The ACT is difficult to compare between states because the way one state uses it can be different from how another state uses it.

"If you have an opt-in group of 46 percent of students, compared to a state that has 80 percent of students, that doesn't mean there are more students that are going to college, it just means there are more students taking the ACT," Britton said.

The key to getting a credible national assessment of standardized tests is finding something that can be equally applied.

Even with the successful SAT scores Horry County has seen, the Horry County School District still has plans to expand the use of technology and provide for students that may need extra help in certain areas.

As part of the Personal Digital Learning program, Britton said the school system is adding more technology. Middle school students that received iPads in the first roll out of the program will now be receiving Chromebooks.

Britton said this will be a huge addition simply because of the large number of middle school students that are in the district.

The Horry County School District is also working on what Britton referred to as "closing the achievement gap." She said this means the district is trying to find ways to meet the needs of students who may have a limited English speaking ability, disabilities, or come from areas of poverty.

The goal is to help those students have achievement levels equivalent to or better than students who may not be facing those challenges.

"Horry County outperforms," Britton said. "We compete nationally, we outperform at the state level, but that is in no way to signify that we are comfortable with where we are.I think there are lots of things to be proud of, but the work will never ever be complete."

Britton said each year presents new challenges, but with that the district is always striving for continuous improvement and growth.

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