Rockford Public Schools administrators are optimistic about continued incremental growth on high school standardized exams. Composite ACT scores are at a four-year high, according to ACT results released publicly this week. Those results are from RPS 205 seniors who graduated with the class of 2016. “It’s encouraging data, and we’re moving in the right direction,” said Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. The RPS 205 composite score increased nearly a full point from 17.8 in 2013 to 18.6 in 2016:
|Graduation Year||Composite Score|
The slight boost in scores over time is connected to continued ACT prep and an increase in Advanced Placement participation and overall rigor in the district’s curriculum. ACT research shows the rigor of coursework has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness. The district increased its credit requirement from 40 to 48 credits four years ago; the class of 2016 is the first class to require all 48 credits to earn a diploma. The additional credit requirement is tied to lengthening the school day and offering students more opportunities for classes.
RPS 205 juniors will take the SAT this school year because a contract with ACT expired. Administrators are looking forward to the transition. “We anticipate continued progress with this year’s switch to the SAT,” said Chief Academic Officer Richard Schroeder. The SAT allows for individualized practice, and some of that practice will be incorporated into the school day.
RPS 205 also has a new partnership with the College Board, the not-for-profit organization that helps students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.
English and reading scores are at a four-year high, while mathematics scores this year and last were the highest they’ve been in four years: