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Class of 2017 Wingers score above state ACT average

Approximately 190 students attended the commencement ceremony at Red Wing High School on June 2, 2017. Samantha Bengs / RiverTown Multimedia

The ACT recently released results showing that Red Wing students who graduated in 2017 exceeded state averages on each test. The composite score for the class of 2017 students was 22, compared to the state average of 21.5.

Known as the most widely used college entrance exam in the United States, the ACT includes curriculum-based tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Tests are designed to measure the skills needed for success in first-year college coursework.

Red Wing students take the Explore test as eighth-graders, the PLAN test as 10th-graders and the ACT test as juniors and seniors, said Red Wing School District Director of Support Services Dr. Beth Borgen.

"Red Wing students show growth throughout their high school years and over the past three years, tend to score at or above the state average from year to year," she said.

Dr. Borgen added that the 2016 graduating class was an exception, as all students were required to take the ACT during their junior year.

On a nationwide scale, Superintendent Karsten Anderson reported that Minnesota students achieved the highest ACT scores among test takers.

"We are on the leading edge of that success," Anderson said. "ACT scores are important because they measure college readiness — higher scoring students have a better chance of earning better grades in college."

Anderson also noted ACT results compared to recent Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments results released in August, showing Red Wing students in line, if not higher, with proficiency levels in most areas, but below in some.

"Our MCA results weren't as positive," Anderson said. "They are testing different constructs, so it is not surprising. I put a lot of value in the ACT because it measures college readiness — an important goal for the school district. We want to provide experiences and opportunities for all of our students to prepare them for life after high school regardless of the college or career path they choose."

School Board member Mike Christensen echoed the superintendent. "No matter what their choice is, the fact that these kids are working hard to achieve these results speaks good for their futures."

Current juniors and seniors will have an opportunity to take the ACT during the school day on April 3, 2018. The test is also scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, and Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Red Wing High School.