Janesville School District's ACT scores rise slightly

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Nick Crow
August 28, 2015

JANESVILLE — Janesville School District's composite ACT scores rose slightly from last year's figures, but school officials say there is still plenty of work to do.

Kim Ehrhardt, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the district, said challenges remain, but Project Redesign, the district's plan for creating more rigorous, relevant and engaging high school learning, has paid dividends.

"This year's results document the fourth year of improved district ACT scores," Ehrhardt said.

"Central to that success story is the diligent efforts of the leadership and staff at both Parker and Craig high schools to refine curriculum, focus instruction and motivate positive student performance on the various data markers that measure student achievement," he said.

The district's overall ACT score rose from 21.7 in 2014 to 21.8 in 2015. The district average lands below the state average of 22.2 but is above the national average of 21.0. Craig's average was the same as the state average. Parker's average was below the state average but above the national average.

Each August, ACT results are published. The ACT is a standardized assessment that measures college and career readiness by assessing student achievement in English, reading, math and science.

Amy Sheridan, assessment, talented and gifted and elementary math coordinator for the district, said the results released this week are for students who graduated in spring 2015.

In Janesville, Craig improved its score from 22.1 in 2014 to 22.2 in 2015. Parker improved from 21.1 to 21.3 during that time.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin tied Iowa for second-highest composite score behind Minnesota (22.7) among states where 50 percent or more of students take the assessment.

Approximately 73 percent of Wisconsin's 2015 graduates, 46,738 students, took the ACT during high school, according to the Wisconsin DPI.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, all Wisconsin public high school students enrolled in 11th grade were required to take the ACT in the spring of 2015.

Project Redesign was introduced in Janesville during the 2012-13 school year. It was in response to poor student achievement results on the ACT and Advanced Placement test results, according to school district officials.

Project Redesign was an overhaul of curriculum beginning with ninth grade and spreading to subsequent grades. Its work is ongoing, Ehrhardt said.

The goal of the project is to align curriculum with the Common Core standards and the ACT College and Career Readiness standards.

Superintendent Karen Schulte said she was excited by the district's ACT results. She said district teachers worked hard to produce them.

"It is exciting to see the fruits of their labor," Schulte said. "We are truly helping kids be better prepared for the future."



Janesville: 21.8

Craig: 22.2

Parker: 21.3

State: 22.2

Nation: 21.0


2006: 22.1

2007: 21.8

2008: 22.0

2009: 21.9

2010: 21.2

2011: 21.7

2012: 21.4

2013: 21.5

2014: 21.7

2015: 21.8

Source: Janesville School District


Williams Bay: 24.1

Whitewater: 23.5

Lake Geneva Badger: 22.6

Evansville: 22.5

Clinton: 22.3

Edgerton: 22.2

Elkhorn: 22.1

Parkview: 22.1

Milton: 22.1

Janesville: 21.8

Big Foot: 21.5

Brodhead: 21.3

Delavan-Darien: 20.7

Beloit Turner: 20.6

Beloit: 19.4

Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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