County ACT scores showing strong increase

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Five first graders at Oak Grove Elementary School were recognized by the Marshall County Board of Education for their scores on the STAR Benchmark test, given earlier this year. The five each scored significantly above their grade level, all within the top 97 percent of first graders nationwide, with some having a fourth grade level of performance. Pictured from left: Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells, Tavin Dunkleman, Timothy Hanson, Trayson Miller, and Kayden Kneeland. Not pictured Charlotte Crabtree.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

The Marshall County School District is getting closer to one of its goals.

Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells shared the county’s ACT scores with the Board of Education at their monthly meeting Monday night.

Last year’s senior class posted a 20.1 average ACT score, placing the district second in the region behind Tullahoma City Schools with a 21.5 composite score.

The goal for the district is to reach a 21 average score. A 21 is the minimum score needed to qualify for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship program. A score of 36 is the highest possible.

“We are right there knocking on the door,” said Sorrells.

Sorrells has stated several times in the past that he wants Marshall County to have the highest ACT score in the South Central Tennessee region, which covers 14 counties and 16 different school districts.

“We have set the bar high,’ said Sorrells, “but that’s where we want to be.”

Marshall County had the highest percentage of students take the standardized test, which is used in college admissions and measures math, science, reading, and English skills.

Ninety-nine percent of the class took the exam, compared with 94 percent for Tullahoma.

The district has emphasized increasing the average ACT score for several years now and is seeing results.

According to the district’s report card from the Tennessee Department of Education, the average score for the 2012-2013 school year was 18.5 and 32.7 percent of students scored 21 or higher.

This past year, 44 percent of the students who took the test scored 21 or above.

For comparison, Giles County schools posted an 18.8 composite score for the year, Bedford County a 19.1, and Maury County a 19.7.

The board also honored employees who have recently retired from the system, although some of the retirees still work for the schools on part-time contracts.

The 15 retirees represent more than 290 years of service to Marshall County Schools and its students.

Those honored were Gayle Adkins, Diane Barnes, Billy Bateman, Crystal Coleman, Cindy Gabard, Judy Harwell, Leona Hill, Cindy Lange, Jackque McClendon, Audrey McDaniel, Wanda Sue Randolph, Kathy Stapleton, Tim Taylor, Ginger Tepedino, and Paul Williams.