JANESVILLE

Janesville’s 2018 graduating class recorded lower ACT scores, coming in below the state average in English, reading, math and science.

Overall, Janesville’s 2018 graduating class averaged a composite score of 19.1, down from 19.3 in 2017 but the same as 2016. The state 2018 average was 20.5.

Some other area school districts—including Milton, Williams Bay, Beloit Turner, Clinton and Elkhorn—scored above the state’s composite average.

The numbers released Wednesday from the ACT and state Department of Public Instruction measure the average scores of every 2018 graduate who took the test.

It calculates students’ best scores from all the ACTs they took in high school.

Many school districts have seen dips in their averages over the past five years, and that is largely because more students are taking the test. In 2016, Wisconsin required all juniors to take the ACT regardless of their post high school plans. That lowered the state’s overall average by almost 2 percentage points from 2015. Janesville’s 2016 graduating class average dropped by 2.7 percentage points.

In Janesville’s 2018 graduating class, 831 students took the test—a 41 percent increase from 2012, when 490 students tested.

Average composite scores varied with each Janesville high school. Craig High School’s 2018 graduating class average was just below the state’s average at 20.3. Rock University High School, meanwhile, jumped above the state average at 21.4.

Parker High School graduates averaged an 18.8 composite score. Rock River Charter School averaged 13.6, TAGOS averaged 17.7 and ARISE Virtual Academy averaged 18.6.

The highest possible score on the ACT is a 36.

Scores across all subjects remained similar to the two previous graduating classes. Math dipped from 19.3 to 18.8. English was the same as 2017, and reading and science dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point.

The numbers released Wednesday differ from ACT scores reported by the state Oct. 2. Those results, reported by The Gazette earlier, were the scores from the 2018 junior class. Juniors are required by the state to take the ACT as part of a statewide assessment.

Patrick Gasper, public information officer for the Janesville School District, said Wednesday’s data were what the district expected. There were no major fluctuations, and the scores remained steady, which Gasper said “is a pretty good thing in this day and age.”

ACT results are informative, he said, but they wouldn’t be used in dramatically shifting curriculum and instruction.

In a news release, Superintendent Steve Pophal said the ACT is “just one measure of a student’s academic achievement.

“Be it through college entrance exams, Advanced Placement classes or access to programs that provide industry credentials, we will continue to work with our students and educators to make sure every child has a plan for post high school success,” Pophal is quoted as saying.

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