According to the ACT, national averages slipped down in each area--English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Composite—between one and three-tenths of a point. South Carolina experienced approximately a two-point decline in each area (for example, the composite average score dropped from 20.4 to 18.5), likely due to the new requirement for public schools that each student, not just the college-bound students, must take the ACT.
BJA’s class of 2016 was a bit lower in each area (see chart for details) from the Class of 2015. However, from a thorough though not comprehensive review of previous scores, this is the second highest composite score of a graduating class at BJA—where we have always required each student to take the ACT regardless of ability or college intentions.
Of course, we like to think that our students have higher-than-average abilities. However, the ACT measures achievement in or understanding of these subjects, not native ability. So rather than reflecting how “smart” the class of 2016 is, these scores reflect hard work. They’ve taken hard classes—from Physics, Biology 2, and Precalculus—to numerous dual-credit courses. And they’ve excelled, with 85 percent of the class earning at least a 3.0 and therefore qualifying for a South Carolina achievement-based scholarship.
The ACT’s measurement of achievement can parallel a scriptural emphasis, that each believer is to work “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23), and not to “glory in his wisdom” (Jer. 9:23). With that in mind, let’s also remember as we review these scores that we are to glory instead that we understand and know Him, “the LORD which [exercises] lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth” (Jer. 9:24).
Well done, class of 2016! May each graduate rejoice in the LORD and Who He is, striving in the next steps of life to work heartily for His sake!