The Wyoming students who graduated in spring had the 35th best ACT scores in the nation, according to national data, and saw some gains in meeting readiness benchmarks.
Wyoming is one of 17 states that had 100 percent of graduating seniors take the test. Of those states, Wyoming’s class of 2017 was seventh, with an average score of 20.2 out of 36. New Hampshire had the highest scores in the nation, with a 25.5, and Minnesota’s 21.5 was the highest of the 17 states with 100 percent participation.
To be admitted to the University of Wyoming, students generally need a 21 on the test.
The ACT tests students in four areas — English, math, reading and science. Wyoming’s 2017 seniors improved their scores marginally in all four areas compared to the class of 2016. But the improved numbers were nearly identical to the scores hit by 2015 seniors.
The standardized test measures students’ college readiness based on their scores in those four areas. For instance, an 18 is the benchmark for college readiness in English. Thirty-four percent of seniors hit the science goal of 23, 42 percent reached the reading level of 23, 34 percent hit the math target of 22 and 48 percent were ready in English. Twenty-one percent hit the mark in all four areas.
“We’re in the top half of states that give the ACT to all of their students, and now the work continues to improve student outcomes,” state Superintendent Jillian Balow said in a statement.
Last month, the state Department of Education released the ACT results for students who just finished their junior year and will graduate in 2018. The overall state average score of 19.7 was down from the previous year. Natrona County’s students averaged a 19.3.
Natrona County School Disrtict Associate Superintendent Walt Wilcox said that the district wasn’t pleased with its scores and that the county’s high schools were doing a “deep dive” into their data to improve.