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.