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Forsyth tops state in ACT scores

By: Kayla Robins FORSYTH COUNTY – Class may have recently started for children and teens, but college entrance exams are already earning Forsyth County Schools accolades. The district – Georgia’s seventh largest – earned the highest 2016 ACT score in the state for the second year by earning a composite score of 24.1, according to district and state data. That score, earned from a total of 1,809 test takers, is three points higher than the state average of 21.1 and widened the gap from the national average of 20.8. “I’m extremely proud of our students and staff for continuing to lead the state in ACT scores,” Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden said. The ACT is a national college admissions exam that tests students in English, math, reading and science and includes a writing test. Test takers can earn up to 36 points. Forsyth County’s district score remained the same as in 2015 – Georgia and the nation both increased from 21. All five brick and mortar public high schools in Forsyth County scored total composite scores in the top 50 in the state, with South Forsyth High’s 25 marking the highest in the district. “Our innovative instructional strategies and the personalized learning delivered by our energetic and dedicated staff create a challenging and dynamic learning environment,” said Laura Wilson, principal at South. “Our ACT scores reflect our culture of high expectations and achievement balanced with positive school climate.” South’s score was the 13th highest of any school in the state, according Georgia Department of Education data. Lambert High ranked 15th in the state with a 24.9 composite score. Forsyth Central High’s 23.5 composite score marked the 30th highest in Georgia, and West’s 23.2 score was the 37th best in the state. North Forsyth High scored a 22.9 on the ACT, which was 45th in the state. This year was the first time in Georgia history that the state composite score was higher than the national average, according to the state education department. “Georgia’s students are outpacing the nation on the ACT, even as more of our high schoolers take the test,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This reaffirms one of the core goals of our strategic plan, to increase the percentage of high school graduates who are college and/or career ready.” Georgia saw 58,073 students take the ACT in 2016, compared to 54,653 in the graduating class of 2015 – a 5.9 percent increase. “Conventional wisdom holds that as more students take a test like the ACT, scores will go down,” Woods said, “but our Georgia students proved that’s not always the case.”

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