Editorial: Local ACT scores deserve applause; now let’s do betterMinnesota high school teachers, staff, administrators and students can feel pretty good about the latest round of ACT scores.
By: R-E Editorial Board, The Republican Eagle
Minnesota high school teachers, staff, administrators and students can feel pretty good about the latest round of ACT scores. Minnesota's score led the nation for the fourth consecutive year. Neighboring states Iowa and Wisconsin rounded out the leaders.
Red Wing folks can smile a little broader, perhaps, because local high school students' composite score beat the statewide average.
The numbers are:
Red Wing — 22.8
Minnesota — 22.6
Iowa — 22.4
Wisconsin — 22.3
Nation — 21.1
Red Wing's score is statistically accurate and impressive for two reasons.
One, 71 percent of all local students take the college entrance exam, including those not entering a four-year college this fall. Some districts — indeed, some states — test only college-bound students. Across Minnesota, 69 percent of students took the ACT this year.
Two, Red Wing students posted five-year ACT highs in both English and math. (The ACT also tests students' knowledge in civics and science.) These highs indicate that slightly smaller class sizes under Principal Beth Borgen and the addition of college-prep classes last school year — thanks to grant money — may make a difference. We'll see what happens to the scores next year.
While it's good to lead the way, Red Wing Supt. Stan Slessor is right when he cautions against complacency.
In fact, the state and local scores indicate that one in every three students is not prepared for rigorous college coursework. The bottom line: Those students' initial costly tuition dollars will go toward remedial classes to master skills and gain knowledge they should have received in high school. College campuses then are wasting time and resources filling the gap.
We add this to the complacency warning: The national ACT average is a abysmal. The 21.1 score is on a scale of 1 to 36 and it's down from 21.2 a year ago.
Everybody has room for dramatic improvement.