For the first time, all seniors graduating from Louisiana's high schools were required to take the ACT, which measures proficiency in English, math, reading and science to determine students' readiness for college. As expected, because of the expanded pool that includes public and private high school students, the state's average dropped from 20.3 in 2012 to 19.5.
State Superintendent of Schools John White told The Advocate that other states requiring all students to take the test initially produced sharper drops.
Because of the decline, Louisiana is now third lowest in the state behind (you guessed it) Mississippi and North Carolina, the paper reported.
In Lafayette Parish the ACT composite dropped from 20.8 in 2012 to 20 for the 2013 graduating class, the school system announced Wednesday.
"At first glance it appears that we had a dip in our scores, but when you factor in that 298 additional students tested that may not have elected to test on their own and were required to due to new state mandates, we have held steady," Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper says in a statement. In 2013, 1,565 students' scores were included in the report, compared with 1,267 students in 2012.
The local system says it had the greatest increase in the number of students scoring an 18 or above on the exam, beating out all other school districts; 237 more students, a total of 1,138, scored 18 or above this year than in 2011-2012.