PLAS implementing new policies to assess, prep for ACT

Published 8:25 pm Monday, November 25, 2019

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Pike Liberal Arts School students averaged a composite ACT score of 23 in 2019, a mark that is above the local, state, and national average. The local average ACT score is 18.1 and 18.3, while the state and national average is 19.2 and 21, respectively.

But the school’s leadership is implementing new policies seeking to further improve those scores.

“While we are very proud of our scores being above the national average, we believe there is still work to do in order to reach the goals set for mastery of standards in future assessments,” said Eric Burkett, headmaster.

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Recently, the Pike Liberal Arts board accepted a new testing policy which assesses students relative to the ACT in grades 3-11. Students in third through seventh grades will be assessed using the ASPIRE, grades 8 through 10 will be assessed using the Pre-ACT, and juniors will complete the ACT in the spring on Pike’s campus.

“In order to ensure the success of our students on the ACT, more rigorous test prep is being implemented into our curriculum while highlighting and focusing on practice assessments and time management,” Burkett said. “We want to continue monitoring student progress in the classroom, but place additional emphasis on student accountability and responsibility. Our teachers are dedicated to teaching the strategies and applications students need to perform on high stakes assessments in any capacity.”

Data released by ACT Inc. examines the ACT scores of graduating senior classes from 2015-2019 and compares them to other students in the state as well as the nation. The ACT is used to measure college and career readiness and retention of important concepts. This year’s graduating seniors had 12 percent of the class score 30 or above, out of a possible 36, when assessed during their junior and senior year.

“Having all assessments relative to the ACT will provide yearly progression, eventually resulting in benchmark performance or above on the ACT,” Burkett said. “We are confident this change in assessment will better prepare our students by identifying possible learning gaps in the early grades and addressing the specific needs of students individually so mastery can take place by the time students reach the 11th grade. PLAS is dedicated to the success of each and every student on campus. We strive daily to develop the ‘whole child’ while supporting them academically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.”