Archive for Wednesday, August 28, 2002

THS students score higher on college entrance exam

August 28, 2002

Tonganoxie ACT scores have recovered from a one-year slump.

Mike Bogart, Tonganoxie High School principal, said this year's composite score averaged 21.5, a jump from the 2001 THS composite score of 19.8.

"So we're just back from where we were," Bogart said.

This brings Tonganoxie closer to the 2002 state average composite score of 21.6.

But Bogart said other numbers are more indicative of the school's strengths.

In math, Tonganoxie students averaged 21.9, compared to the state average of 21.3.

Again in science, THS students averaged 21.8, compared to the state's 21.5 average.

But in reading, Tonganoxie faltered, scoring an average of 21.5, compared to the state average of 22.1.

"Where we have a tough time is the reading," Bogart said. "We're kind of consistent in the reading."

Reading abilities differ from math and science skills, he said.

"Math is knowing it, science is knowing it," Bogart said. "But reading is a skill. Everything from word attack to interpreting literature is something that is acquired over the years."

Bogart said the district's lower grades have stepped up reading programs.

"I know they're doing everything up and down the line," Bogart said. "They're making an extra effort to teach reading. But we won't see the results of that for a few years."

Bogart said high school students showed improved scores in reading on Stanford tests last year.

"The ACT is just one test, but it does concern me that it happens on this one because this is an important one in terms of college entrance and sending kids off to college with good reading skills," Bogart said.

Two years ago the district held before-school classes to help students prepare for the ACT. But attendance was poor.

"We didn't find that to be very successful," Bogart said. "We went back this past year to our evening sessions and got better attendance and raised their level of concern."

Again this year, Bogart said, the high school will hold four evening ACT preparation sessions prior to the October and December tests.

The sessions consist of reviewing math, science and language arts.

Bogard said he hopes the ACT composite score will continue to climb.

"We're better," he said. "We're not where we want to be but we're just one-tenth of a point below the state average, so that puts us up from last year."

McLouth and Basehor-Linwood high schools saw similar rises this year.

John Hamon, McLouth High School principal, said the 2002 score of 22.6 was an improvement over the 2001 score of 19.5.

"I think we had a really good group of students and I think our teachers had something to do with it also, obviously," Hamon said. "It is a little bit of a bump from what we normally have."

Hamon noted that students who took the school's core curriculum, which includes four years of English, and three years of math, social studies and science, had a higher average composite score of 24.3.

At Basehor-Linwood, the average composite ACT score rose to 21.7, topping the school's 2001 average of 18.6.

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