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Published July 19, 2013, 08:54 PM

Grand Forks ACT test scores competitive with nation

The average ACT composite score of high school juniors in Grand Forks has exceeded or stayed on par with the state and national average since 2005, according to the district’s annual report.

By: Jennifer Johnson, Grand Forks Herald

The average ACT composite score of high school juniors in Grand Forks has exceeded or stayed on par with the state and national average since 2005, according to the district’s annual report.

Students annually scored one to two points higher than the U.S. average on their scores for the college entrance exam, usually 22 compared to 20 or 21 nationwide. In the past two years, scores nearly matched the national average of 21.1.

Grand Forks school officials said the 2011 school year was a turning point for North Dakota 11th-graders, who were all required to take the test rather than the ones who just chose to. Although the scores have been lower since the rule changed, they are actually “very solid” considering about 100 more juniors are taking the test, said Assistant Superintendent Jody Thompson.

“The challenge for us is … obviously, not all juniors plan on attending college,” he said. “They may be going into the workforce or taking a year off before going to college, or may not be interested in college at all.”

School officials attributed the steady scores to student motivation and the staff members who conduct the assessments. They encourage students to do well regardless of whether they want to go to college, Thompson said.

“We’re proud of the ACT scores,” said Principal Buck Kasowski. “We’ll work just as hard next year.”

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