St. Charles Parish Public Schools class of 2013 showed an increase over the class of 2012 in meeting the minimum entry level college score on the ACT standardized test.
The ACT test is a college readiness assessment used by universities for admissions purposes and any student scoring an 18 or higher on the test is generally considered ready to take college-level courses. Students scoring lower than an 18 are often required to undergo remedial work before taking those courses.
In the past, the ACT test was taken only by students who paid a fee and sat for it outside of school hours, but beginning this year all Louisiana seniors were required to take the test.
With the new requirements, St. Charles Parish showed an increase of 8 percent of seniors receiving an 18 or higher on the ACT. The statewide percentage increase was 20 percent, however, the full statistical data has not yet been released and it is unclear how St. Charles Parish as a whole compared against other school districts.
The Louisiana Department of Education said mandating the test opens up the possibility for college for some students who ordinarily would have never taken it.
"This is about opportunity, especially for those students too long denied it," said State Superintendent John White. "Some students may go directly to college. Some may pursue technical training. Others may enter the workforce and go back to school one day.
"The point is that they have these ACT scores in their pockets. Their right to continue their education can never be taken away."
For 2013 St. Charles school district graduates, with all students required to take the ACT test, the number of students receiving an 18 or above increased by 34 to a total of 417. A total of 639 students took the ACT.
Information on the class of 2013’s overall ACT scores will be released some time this fall.