Niles Class of 2003 test scores make significant leap

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles Community Schools has reason to be pleased with the Class of 2003.
The recent graduates scored higher on both the ACT and the SAT, and the participation rate on the ACT is among the highest in the state. Both are college admission tests.
Betty Perkins, Niles High School principal, told the school board during Monday's school board meeting that the 127 high school seniors who took the ACT last year averaged a 21.0 score out of 36 possible.
That's up from a 20.5 average in 2002, and is a significant jump in performance for the students, she said.
Perkins is also pleased with the high ACT participation rate, which was 74 percent compared to the 57 percent state average. She thinks the high school has such a high participation rate because teachers actively encourage their students to take the ACT.
Perkins said the average SAT score jumped from 1133 in 2002 to 1183 in 2003.
Almost all of the increase on the SAT was in the verbal section.
Doug Law, school district superintendent, said the school district feels strong about the results. But he thinks there is a logical explanation to them.
It also appears that students who follow the recommended core of four years English, Math through Algebra II, and Chemistry/Physics, score much higher than the students who don't.
Students who take the core composite subjects score 22.1 on the ACT, and the students taking non-core subjects, score 18.7. Law said Niles Community Schools is down 10 to 15 students compared to last year. Count day is Sept. 24.
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