Southern IL students score lower than average on ACT - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern IL students score lower than average on ACT

Data shows students in southern Illinois are scoring worse than students in the rest of the state, but leaders at Frankfort Community High School say there’s more to it than meets the eye. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) Data shows students in southern Illinois are scoring worse than students in the rest of the state, but leaders at Frankfort Community High School say there’s more to it than meets the eye. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
When it comes to ACT testing, administrators say there’s a lot more to look at than just numbers. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) When it comes to ACT testing, administrators say there’s a lot more to look at than just numbers. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
The highest average score among the southern Illinois public high schools was Carterville with a score of 23. The lowest average was Cairo High School with a score of 15. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) The highest average score among the southern Illinois public high schools was Carterville with a score of 23. The lowest average was Cairo High School with a score of 15. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) -
Thousands of Illinois high school students might not be ready for college according to recent data from the Illinois  Board of Education.
Data shows students in southern Illinois are scoring worse than students in the rest of the state, but leaders at Frankfort Community High School say there’s more to it than meets the eye.
It can mean the difference between getting into a dream college or getting a scholarship, that’s why scoring well on the ACT is crucial for high schoolers all across the United States.
“I’m not too nervous about it," junior Mitchell Kerley said.
But even for straight A students like Frankfort’s Mitchell Kerley, who's also a two-sport varsity athlete and member of the Beta Club, just thinking about the test is a bit intimidating.

“I mean I’ve taken prep tests before in the past. So, I know what’s coming up but I’m still I guess intimidated about what is going to be on the test," Kerley said.
But that’s where preparation comes in.
“We’re actually going through test questions," FCHS principal Bethany Shaw said. "We give them a pre-test and that way we can identify their areas of weakness and be able to target that instruction to them.”
Shaw said her school’s average score of 19, two points below the state average, isn’t alarming.

“We can review with them you know common mistakes that students make," she explained. "Just key words to look for in the questions, ways to get started if they get stumped, just those test-taking strategies we really try to emphasize.”

When it comes to ACT testing, administrators say there’s a lot more to look at than just numbers.
“Our score is impacted by every single student’s score," Shaw said.

Shaw said those scores are an improvement from last year and rural schools shouldn’t be compared with urban schools.
At Frankfort, every student takes the ACT each year.
In a school of less than 600, Shaw says individual scores can make a difference.
“Suburban schools when they have a large population that they are testing, there’s aren’t impacted as much by individual scores," Shaw said.
Shaw says the school’s entire curriculum is designed to prepare students for college.
“We continue good teaching, good work ethic with our kids, and hope that everything that we’re providing them from academic classes to vocational offerings and extracurricular activities are preparing them to be successful in life," she said.

And for Mitchell, he said he’s just planning to study hard and keep a look on the bright side.

“It’s a factor that I think about," he said. "I try to think most optimistically about it and try to think positive thoughts about the upcoming ACT.”

The highest average score among the southern Illinois public high schools was Carterville with a score of 23.

The lowest average was Cairo High School with a score of 15.

To see the average score of your school, click here.

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