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ACT scores see slight decrease

SUWANEE -- Local student test results that measure general educational development and college readiness declined slightly over the past year.

According to a report delivered Thursday at the Gwinnett County Public Schools work session, the system saw a decrease on the ACT composite score from 22.3 in 2010 to 22.0 in 2011.

Despite the decrease, local district scores remained above state and national-level composite scores for the ACT.

In Georgia, students scored a 21.1. Nationally, students scored 20.6.

Dale Robbins, associate superintendent, said the school is "addressing the challenges of greater diversity and increased poverty as measured by academic performance coupled with expanding participation."

The ACT is a multiple choice question test made up of four sections with an optional writing component. The four sections are English, reading, science and math with the highest possible score being a 36.

Robbins also presented SAT scores to the board of education Thursday.

As reported in Wednesday's paper, SAT scores slipped several points from the previous year.

With an average composite score of 1511 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the local school system still fared better on all sections than state national scores including the areas of reading, math and writing.

Last year, GCPS' average score on the 2,400-point test designed to measure critical thinking skills for college success was 1532. It's a 21-point difference from this year's score.

Sloan Roach, communications director for the school system, said that "typically, you do see a decrease in scores when more and more students are taking the test."

In both the SAT and ACT college preparatory tests, participation was up. Participation rose by 29 percent over the past two years on the SAT. It increased by seven percent over the past year on the ACT.