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Study says 18.3 percent of OHS students college-ready



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March 02, 2011 - An article published in last week's Detroit Free Press compared how college ready seniors at each individual high school where.

The report, with information provided by the Michigan Department of Education, found that fewer than 10 percent of the students set to graduate in 2011 were considered college-ready by the ACT test.

Oxford High School was better, but not by much. The Free Press study found that only 18.3 percent of students were deemed as college ready, which ranked 28th in Oakland County and 164th statewide.

College-readiness is defined as the percentage of students that meet the following four minimum scores on the ACT: 18 on English, 22 on math, 21 on reading and 24 on science.

"Typically when we look at college readiness scores, the college readiness scores are established by the ACT, and the ACT is the premier predictor of college success," Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum James Schwarz said. "It is not a sure fire predictor of college success, but it is what is used nationally."

According to the study, the percentage of college ready students at Oxford High School in the four individual areas were 56.8 percent in English, 44.3 percent in reading, 34.7 percent in math and 25.7 percent in science.

Schwarz indicated all of Oxford's percentages were higher than the state average, which were 54 in English, 40 in reading, 31 in math, and 22 in science.

Even though OHS was above state averages, Schwarz said he was not happy with the scores.

"That is a score that we are continually trying to improve and we are trying to provide interventions, courses and contents to teachers to help students optimize that opportunity to get the best score they can get," he said.

One area Schwarz said should help bring up the ACT scores is through implementing the college-readiness benchmarks in the classrooms of the core areas.

"Our teachers are gearing themselves towards those ACT college-readiness benchmarks and balancing it with the state-readiness benchmarks," Schwarz said. "In some cases they are the same benchmarks, in other cases the ACT may have other benchmarks, that are not required by the state, that they determine what they feel is college-readiness."

Schwarz indicated that he sometimes questions if the ACT test format gives an actual representation if a student is college-ready or not.

He said as an achievement test, the ACT was great, but he has known a number of students who performed poorly on the ACT who have gone on to graduate from college.

"A lot of it depends on the individual child and their own motivation, work ethic and sense of priority towards education," Schwarz said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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