Monday, October 25, 2010


Today was a little bit heartbreaking because it was the first day that we shared our student's baseline ACT scores with them. In this organization we focus a lot on ACT prep in the junior year and we start off the year with a baseline ACT- a test where we tell them where to go and when but nothing else.

Our student's baseline scores ranged from 9-28 (the 28 was a major outlier... after this student no one had higher than a 20). To give some context: the national average is 21 and the state average is almost 23. A good portion of both mine and victoria's students fell in the bottom 1% of test takers.

This is incredibly disheartening. Our students are smart energetic students- yet the test in no way shows that. Our English Language Learners definitely struggle the most, being unable to come even close to finishing the reading section and getting a majority of those questions wrong.

I think what affected me the most was how immune my students seemed to being in the bottom 30% or lower of test takers. Most of my students failed their GRAD tests in reading and/or writing and they are completely used to being below average. I guess this is better than being destroyed by this fact. I even had one student make a joke about it. He had a 10 or 11 and was in the bottom 1%, instead he remarked: "I'm in the top 1% of test takers!"... all I could do was look at him with a sad smile.

The ray of hope here is that we are basically guaranteed to raise our students' scores. Our organization averaged a 25% score increase last year. But, I don't really think 25% is enough for most of my students and sincerely hope it will be possible to improve their scores even more.

1 comment:

  1. The sad fact is that this isn't Lake Wobegon and we can't all be above average. Everybody that moves into a higher testing bracket pushes someone else's percent down. The good news for these students in the bottom one percent is that they have you folks to help them improve their skills, and maybe reach a level of slightly below average. It's much worse for the people in the bottom decile, who don't have anyone helping and pushing them to develop their human capital. Those people have a bleak future indeed.