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Nevada’s ACT results improve while national scores drop

Nevada’s 2019 high school graduates improved their ACT composite scores two tenths to 17.9, while 2019 graduates nationally saw their scores fall one-tenth to 20.7 from 2018, the state announced this week.

“I am encouraged that Nevada both improved and bucked the national trend,” Jhone Ebert, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement this week.

“We acknowledge that we are still behind the national performance, but these results are in line with our goal of becoming the fastest improving state in the nation.”

Nevada’s ACT test scores included improved results in English, math and reading. The ACT released the following results from Nevada, the state Department of Education said in a news release:

The composite ACT score rose from 17.7 last year to 17.9.

English scores rose from 16.6 last year to 16.8.

Math scores rose from 17.8 last year to 18.

Reading scores rose from 18 last year to 18.2.

Science scores remained at 17.9.

“While we saw some improvement this year, I have heard from school leaders that they would like additional supports for their teachers, students, and families, Ebert said in the Oct. 30 news release.

“The Nevada Department of Education is working closely with the ACT administrators, and school districts, to ensure targeted resources are made available to support and improve student results.

“More of our students excelling in the ACT translates into more of our students identified as college and career ready.”

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In Nevada, 6,665 of the 2019 graduates (18.7 percent) taking the ACT two or more times had an average composite score of 21.8, compared to an average of 16.9 for 28,889 of the 2019 graduates (81.3 percent) who took the ACT once. One significant change in the ACT next year is that students will be allowed to retake only one portion of the test.

Nationally, an estimated 52 percent of 2019 graduates took the ACT with an average composite score of 20.7. The ACT is a college and career readiness requirement for graduation in Nevada, where 35,554 graduates had a composite average score of 17.9.

Ethnic highlights from Nevada include:

13,193 Hispanic graduates improved their composite average score from 16.4 last year to 16.7.

9,810 white graduates improved their composite average score from 19.9 to 20.1.

2,662 African-American graduates improved their composite average score from 15.3 to 15.5.

In 2019, 12 percent of Nevada graduates met all four ACT college readiness benchmarks, which is the same as last year. Twenty percent of Nevada graduates met three of the four ACT college readiness benchmarks, which is up 1 percent from last year.

The individual benchmark results for Nevada include:

38 percent of graduates met the English college readiness benchmark of 18.

22 percent of graduates met the math college readiness benchmark of 22.

27 percent of graduates met the reading college readiness benchmark of 22.

19 percent of graduates met the science college readiness benchmark of 23.

The ACT college readiness benchmarks are scores on the ACT subject area tests that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50 percent change of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credt0bering first-year college courses.

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