With an average composite score of 21.2, the 2016 graduates of Harlan High School helped continue the trend of strong ACT scores for the district. HHS students performed better than students from across the state on the ACT exam, which is given each year. The 2016 ACT College Readiness Report shows students across Kentucky scored an average composite of 20.0. This marks the fifth straight year Harlan High students have outpaced students in Kentucky in all areas of the assessment.
The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college coursework. ACT scores for HHS students also exceed national levels in English, Reading, and overall composite scores.
College readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit bearing college course.
Superintendent Charles Morton attributes the success rate on the ACT to several factors stating, “Our courses are designed to be rigorous, challenging, and focused. We attempt to wrap all of that up with very high expectations that we firmly believe can be met by all our students. The teaching staff works hard to measure and evaluate progress so we can provide support where it is needed most. We want our students to understand that content matters, regardless if it is Dual Credit College course or traditional high school course, the name doesn’t matter if you don’t master the content.”
Pointing out that the percentage of students meeting the English benchmark is 75 percent, Morton was pleased but noted “We always have room for improvement and we will continue to align our curriculum and content so that students can be challenged and prepared to meet the next set of expectations.”
Morton went on to state, “We are continuing to focus on the areas that need support by providing supplemental classes for students that fail to meet benchmarks, our desire is to see every child leave ready for college or career. We are excited to see how each class performs. As we have in the past, we have met with this year’s freshmen to set goals. We certainly will be working to help me them reach those goals.”