The Mississippi Department of Education has released ACT results for the spring 2019 statewide administration of the ACT to all public high school juniors.
Both Yazoo City and Yazoo County schools saw a slight decrease in their average ACT scores.
Within Yazoo City, there was an increase of test takers from 111 to 112 with the average score decreasing from 14.6 to 14.0.
Within Yazoo County schools, there was a decrease of test takers from 116 to 114 with the average score decreasing from 16.6 to 15.7.
Statewide, the average score for juniors decreased from 17.8 in 2018 to 17.6 in 2019. The percentage of juniors meeting the benchmark scores for all four tested ACT subjects remained flat at 9 percent from 2018 to 2019.
The national average ACT score for all students in the class of 2019, which includes public and private school students, was 20.7, down from 20.8 in 2018. ACT scores nationwide have dropped in recent years as the population of students taking the test has broadened.
Students who take four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science typically outperform their peers who report taking fewer courses in these subjects.
“ACT research shows that taking certain specific courses in high school substantially increases students’ readiness for college level work as well as their readiness for workforce training programs,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
The MDE provides districts with training related to analyzing ACT data, evaluating course taking patterns and designing ACT preparation courses.
All school districts are now required to offer two specialized classes, the Essentials for College Literacy and the Essentials for College Math, to seniors who are on the cusp of meeting the ACT benchmark scores. All students who earn a grade of 80% or higher in these courses are entitled to enter credit-bearing college courses, without remediation, at all Mississippi public universities and community colleges.