Lawrence ACT scores continue to rise while state average drops

photo by: The Associated Press

This April 1, 2014, file photo shows an ACT Assessment test in Springfield, Ill. The Lawrence school district saw another increase in its average score on the test during the 2018-19 school year, despite a drop in the state's average.

Students in the Lawrence school district continue to improve their scores on the ACT exam, despite a drop in the average score across the state.

The Lawrence school district reported an average ACT score of 23.95 for the students who took the test during the 2018-19 school year, according to data the school district recently provided to the Journal-World. The school district reported an average score of 23.7 in 2017-18.

The school district’s score is much higher than the state’s average of 21.2, which dropped from 21.6 the year before. The national average is not yet available.

Lawrence school district officials did not respond to the Journal-World’s request for comment.

The ACT exam — which tests English, math, reading and science — gauges the college-readiness of high school students. It is often a requirement in the application process for universities across the country.

State education officials expected to see a drop in the state’s overall average this year because of a likely increase of students taking the test, the school district said. Through a provision in a recent education funding law, the state provided funding for all Kansas high school juniors to take the test for free.

However, in Lawrence, ACT scores continued to rise even with the increased number of test takers. The Lawrence school district saw 533 students take the test in 2018-19, which is 38 more than the year before.

The increase in the average score was caused by Free State High School, which improved its average score from 23.9 in 2017-18 to 24.4 in 2018-19. Lawrence High School’s average remained the same, scoring 23.5 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Additionally, students at the Lawrence Virtual School reported a score of 23.5. However, the scores at the virtual school are not included in the district average because only 30 students from the school took the test and the school serves students from across the state.

The two private schools in Lawrence also fared well on the test. Bishop Seabury Academy students scored an average of 27.8, and Veritas Christian School scored an average of 28.4.

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