HAMILTON COUNTY ACT SCORES
These are the highest composite ACT scores for each Hamilton County high school based on the graduating class of 2018, according to data released by Hamilton County Schools.
> Brainerd High School: 14.6
> Central High School: 18.8
> Chattanooga High Center For Creative Arts: 24.9
> Chattanooga School For Arts And Sciences: 23.5
> East Hamilton School: 22.3
> East Ridge High School: 17.2
> Hamilton County Collegiate High: 25.6
> Hamilton County High School: 16.4
> Hixson High School: 19.4
> The Howard School: 15
> Ooltewah High School: 20.4
> Lookout Valley Middle/High School: 20
> Red Bank High School: 18.4
> Sale Creek Middle/High School: 21.3
> Sequoyah High School: 16.9
> Signal Mountain Middle/High School: 24.7
> Soddy-Daisy High School: 21.1
> Tyner Academy: 17.6
> Hamilton County Virtual School: 19.7
> STEM School Chattanooga: 24.3
> Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy: 20.4
> Ivy Academy: 18.1
Hamilton County Schools' graduates' ACT scores held steady in 2018, according to district officials, but continue to trail state averages.
The county's composite ACT score was 19.9, with 97 percent of the 2018 graduating class participating in the test. The state's average score was 20.2. The district's composite score was also a 19.9 in 2017.
A student with an ACT score of 21 is considered a "Ready Graduate," or proficient enough for college.
The ACT is split into four subject areas — English, math, reading and science — with each section scored from 1 to 36. Hamilton County's average score by subject was: 19.1 in English, 19.2 in math, 20.5 in reading and 20.0 in science.
"Our school leaders, teachers, and counselors are focused on preparing our students for post-secondary opportunities," Justin Robertson, chief schools officer of Hamilton County Schools, said in a statement. "The ACT is one indicator of how prepared our graduates are for success after high school and this information will help direct our work to improve scores across Hamilton County."
Ten Hamilton County schools improved their composite scores, according to a news release from the district, including STEM School Chattanooga, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, Tyner Academy, Signal Mountain High, Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts, Ooltewah High, Soddy-Daisy High, Hixson High, East Hamilton School and Sequoyah High.
The state celebrated ACT scores as record high with record participation rates.
BY THE NUMBERS: AVERAGE ACT SCORES
> Composite: 20.2
> English: 19.7
> Math: 19.5
> Reading: 20.7
> Science: 20.3
> Composite: 19.9
> English: 19.1
> Math: 19.2
> Reading: 20.5
> Science: 20.0
"The ACT provides an opportunity for our students to show they are college and career ready, and seeing a higher average score at the same time more students are taking the test is a true testament to the work that is happening in Tennessee schools," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said in a statement. "Our schools are increasingly moving toward deeper teaching and learning that meets our higher expectations, and that focus pays off on tests like the ACT and SAT."
Hamilton County is also focused on the improvement made by economically disadvantaged students, a subgroup with a special emphasis under the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, also known as ESSA.
"The performance of our economically disadvantaged students is a compelling story in the ACT results," said Shannon Moody, director of accountability and research for Hamilton County Schools, in a statement.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 37.6 percent of the population in Hamilton County and increased their average composite score to 17.4 for the class of 2018, from 17.2 in 2017.
The group also increased the percentage meeting college-ready benchmarks in all four subjects – up by 2.6 percent, according to a news release.
Locally, Bradley County ranked 37th in the state with a record-high composite score of 20.5 in 2018.
The Tennessee Department of Education notes that ACT scores released by Tennessee differ from official scores released by ACT itself, because Tennessee notes students' highest scores, whereas ACT reports students' most recent scores when annual reports are released.
Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at email@example.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.