The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama published ACT results for Alabama’s graduating high school class of 2018, showing large improvement from several schools.
Pike County School System, Montevallo High School, Opp High School and Homewood High School and System showed some of the largest improvement in average ACT scores among Alabama schools between 2015 and 2018.
The entire state of Alabama’s average scores stayed within the range of 18.7 and 19.2 on a 36-point scale between 2015 and 2018.
These most improved high schools jumped from below the state average to around or above the state average. Montevallo High School went from a 17.2 average in 2016 to a 19.2 average in 2018.
PARCA studied the economic composition of the student bodies of these improving schools. Using percentage of students who qualify for free lunch as a measure of economic disadvantage, they found that Montevallo High School and Pike County School System have a higher percentage of disadvantaged students than the state at large.
Homewood High School and Opp High School, on the other hand, have lower levels of economic disadvantage than the state average.
These improving schools all differ, but they gave similar responses when asked how they were able to improve their students’ scores.
The schools emphasized setting high expectations for students, focusing on improving overall skills instead of solely teaching test material, monitoring student progress, providing aid and resources to struggling students, teaching students college-level material and emphasizing the importance of the ACT as ways to help improve scores.