August 27, 2012
Stevenson High School’s latest graduating class earned an average ACT score that matched the highest in school history
for the third consecutive year. The Class of 2012 had a composite score of 26.2 on the college-entrance exam, and in three subject areas — English, mathematics and science — set or equaled school records. The state ACT average was 20.9 and the national average was 21.1.
The school’s most recent graduates scored an average of 27.0 in mathematics, matching the best mark first set in 2010. In English, students had a school-record 26.6 for the second straight year. A high-water mark also was reached in science (25.3) by the second consecutive graduating class. The fourth subject area tested, reading, resulted in a 25.3 score that was the second highest in SHS history.
The ACT program also uses scores to predict the percentage of students who are "ready" for college-level coursework. ACT sets "College Readiness Benchmarks" in English, mathematics, reading and science. These benchmarks specify the minimum score needed in each subject area to indicate that a student has a 75% chance of earning a grade of C or higher, or a 50% chance of earning a B or higher in a typical first-year college course in that subject area.
Nationally, ACT says the college readiness picture is cloudy at best: only 25% of 2012 grads met all four benchmarks. In Illinois, the same percentage of graduating seniors met all four benchmarks. At Stevenson, the picture is much brighter: 60% of the Class of 2012 met all four benchmarks. Looking at the individual subject area benchmarks provides an even clearer view:
- 94% of Stevenson graduates scored an 18 or higher in the English subject area, compared to 65% nationwide.
- 84% of Stevenson graduates scored a 22 or higher in mathematics, compared to 44% nationwide. The mathematics benchmark is equated with a college algebra course.
- 77% of Stevenson graduates scored a 21 or higher in reading, compared to 47% nationwide. The reading benchmark is equated with a college social science course.
- 66% of Stevenson graduates scored a 24 or higher in science, compared to 30% nationwide. The science benchmark is equated with a college biology course.