Education

Fort Mill students top ACT scores. Here’s how York County region schools performed

All York County school districts beat their 2018 ACT scores this year, according to 2019 scores released Wednesday from the college entrance exam provider.

More than 33,800 South Carolina public school students took the ACT in 2019, down from 51,183 who took the test in 2018, according to the state department of education. The ACT is no longer required but is paid for by the state and can be taken on a school day.

South Carolina’s public school graduates received an average score of 18.6 on the ACT, up from 2018’s score of 18.0, according to the provider. The national average score is 20.7 for 2019.

Fort Mill topped York County districts with an average score of 22.8 in 2019, up from 21.1 in 2018.

York school district students scored an average of 19.1 in 2019, up from 17.7 in 2018. Clover students scored an average of 20.5 on the ACT in 2019, up from 19.8 in 2018.

In Rock Hill, the average score is 18.1 in 2019, up from 17.9 in 2018.

Chester County School District students scored an average of 16.9 on the ACT in 2019, up from 16.3 in 2018. In the Lancaster County School District, the average score stayed the same as 2018 at 17.4.

In the South Carolina Public Charter School District, which includes the York Preparatory Academy and Riverwalk Academy charter schools in Rock Hill, the average score in 2019 is 20.1, up from 18.6 in 2018.

The average score for all South Carolina students is 18.8, up from 18.3 in 2018, according to the exam provider.

The percent of South Carolina graduates who met three or four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks increased from 21% in 2018 to 24% in 2019, according to the education department.

However, nationally the percent of graduates who met college readiness benchmarks in math and English are the lowest in 15 years, according to the state department.

“Despite the national decline illustrated in ACT’s College and Career Readiness report, South Carolina made significant gains from 2018,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a prepared statement.

Spearman said students who choose to take the ACT must be prepared.

“While we no longer require schools to administer the ACT to every student, we are still seeing a large portion of students taking college readiness exams without having the proper coursework to be successful,” Spearman said in a prepared statement. “We must do a better job of making students and parents aware of the impact a challenging course schedule has on their chance for success on these assessments while continuing to raise expectations and rigor in the classroom for all students.”

South Carolina students, including those in the York County region, also exceeded state and national averages for the SAT college entrance exam and Advanced Placement exams.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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