Department of Education Released Results of 11th Grade ACT Assessment

November 9, 2017, 11:53 am EST | Share:

COLUMBIA, SC (WTAT-TV) — The South Carolina Department of Education has released statewide results from the ACT, a college readiness assessment which was taken by all 11th grade high school students during the spring of 2016.

However, some school districts decided to give the ACT testing online experienced significant technical issues to the testing system. That unfortunately resulted in delayed reporting and brought about questions for the validity of test scores.

“I do not feel that the scores we released today are an accurate portrayal of the abilities of many of our students ,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The online administration was mired with ACT system failures that led to cancelled and inaccurate score reporting. I remain deeply concerned and hope that we can work with ACT to prevent these issues in the future.”

On May 15th of 2017, ACT, Inc. released a statement to all SC school districts which said: “Some students experienced technical issues during the online administration of the ACT. These issues may have created disruptions or distractions, altered the timing of the tests, led students to change their test-taking strategy, or had other impacts. The scores from an administration where technical problems occurred may not be an accurate reflection of a student’s knowledge or skills. Technical issues that occurred during online testing may have compromised the validity of some student scores.”

Over half of South Carolina’s school districts (about 25,000 students) used the online testing system. Of the school districts that tested online, 96% reported having technical difficulties that have largely been attributed to ACT’s inadequate online testing system.

Technical difficulties ranged in nature from small glitches to significant errors that shut down the entire testing process in some schools.

The ACT is a standardized timed college readiness assessment whose benchmarks show how prepared test takers are for entering a four year college or university.

According to the company, the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are scores that represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing courses.The ACT assessment was administered to all 11th graders for the first time in 2015.

During the SC General Assembly’s past legislative session, the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed into law, Act 94, which provides that beginning in 2017-2018, all eleventh graders must be offered the option of taking either the ACT or the SAT college readiness assessments. Additionally, as funds are available, the state will provide all students the opportunity to take or retake a college readiness assessment, career readiness assessment, and/or earn industry credentials or certifications in the twelfth grade at no cost to the student or parent.

A total of 343 students achieved a maximum scale score of 36 on one or more of the ACT subject tests. Eighteen students scored high enough in every subject to earn a score of 36 on the composite scale, as well. These students, along with those that scored Platinum on WorkKeys, will be honored by Superintendent Spearman.

You can access data for the ACT assessment by clicking here.