ACT scores on the rise in Morgan County

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By Goose Lindsay

The Tennessee Department of Education released ACT composite scores for public schools across the state last week and the news was good for area students, as Morgan County’s average score on the test increased for the sixth straight year.

“That’s one of the big indicators that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” Morgan County Director of Schools Ronnie Wilson said. “We’re working hard to improve those scores by having more rigor in some of our key classes like math, science and language arts.”

Morgan County’s average score for the 2017-18 school year was 19.0 compared to 18.6 in 2016-17. In 2012-13, Morgan County’s average was 17.3

The statewide average for 2017-18 was 20.2 compared to 20.1 in 2016-17.

“We’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we’re seeing things going in the right direction,” Assistant Director of Schools David Treece said. “We’re growing at about the same rate as the state and we’re still trying to find ways to catch up.”

Wilson says a lot of people deserve credit for the improvement shown on a yearly basis.

“It’s taken a lot of work from teachers, principals and parents,” he said. “The teachers are working really hard. We do a lot of PD (professional development) with them. They’re going to trainings, we have trainings here for them, we’ll have subject groups, like math, that meet together and they will share what works well for them.

“The teachers are extremely important because as they grow, the students grow.
“I think the expectations of parents have risen as well and that helps too. If you don’t expect your child to do something, they’re probably not going to do it.”

Morgan County’s numbers are similar to  the neighboring counties of Anderson (19.5), Campbell (18.4), Fentress (19.7), Roane (20.2) and Scott (18.1).

City school systems and state run institutions such as Alvin C. York Institute (19.3), Oneida (20.8) and Oak Ridge (23.3) were included in the data.