TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse area high school juniors outperformed statewide ACT college-entrance exam and Michigan Merit Exam test score averages.
Pupils within the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District averaged an overall score of 20.4 out of 36 on the ACT, .7 higher than the statewide average.
TBAISD also bested statewide student proficiency averages for the merit exam by one percentage point in math, seven percentage points in reading, four percentage points in science, five percentage points in social studies and eight percentage points in writing.
Jason Jeffrey, TBAISD assistant superintendent for general & career and technical education, said ISD student scores were encouraging, but he cautioned the merit exam doesn’t account for important career and college readiness traits like work ethic, knowledge application and ability to collaborate with others.
“We’re happy we’re outperforming the state averages, but that certainly is not enough,” Jeffrey said.
Merit exam proficiency scores for Traverse City Area Public Schools, which accounts for nearly half the ISD’s student population, exceeded state averages by 12 percentage points in reading, 5 percentage points in math, 12 percentage points in writing, 8 percentage points in science and 11 percentage points in social studies.
TCAPS juniors averaged an overall ACT score of 20.9 in 2013.
“Our staff and students have worked very hard to prepare for college and career readiness,” TCAPS Associate Superintendent Jayne Mohr said. “As we know, the ACT is a gatekeeper for many colleges, especially in Michigan.”
Elk Rapids Public Schools juniors recorded the top average ACT score of all TBAISD public students with a 21.5, beating out Glen Lake Community Schools test-takers by .1.
Elk Rapids Superintendent Stephen Prissel attributed the average score in part to a district-wide effort to provide more academic support to struggling and at-risk students.
“Obviously, our high school staff does an outstanding job, but this starts well before in elementary and middle school,” Prissel said.
The average ACT score at Mancelona Public Schools was 17.9 while Benzie County Central Schools’ average was 19.7.
Full Michigan Merit Exam scores for all districts in the area can be viewed under the student testing tab at www.mischooldata.org.