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Riverton kids show steady improvement in ACT scores

Aug 30, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Department of Education is ending its system of PAWS testing this year, but Fremont County School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder said Riverton schools can still use the results from the most recent round of exams to plan for the future.

"If we do have good results in certain areas, we want to know, 'Why is that?'" he said. "We want to learn from that and spread it into other classrooms."

The district's PAWS results show that grade-schoolers' performance generally improved during the 2016-17 school year, while the scores of middle-schoolers has declined.

Almost 45 percent of eighth graders scored at least "proficient" in the reading section of the test last year, a drop from almost 56 percent three years ago. In math, almost 40 percent of eighth-graders scored at least "proficient" last year, a drop from about 52 percent three years ago.

The scores of seventh-graders faced a slightly smaller drop, while sixth-graders' scores stayed relatively flat.

In local elementary schools, students' scores tended to improve, with the percentage of fourth-graders scoring at least "proficient" rising 9 points higher in reading compared to the year prior. Fourth-graders' math scores also rose 11 points from the year before.

ACT

Of the test results revealed in July, Snyder said he's most proud of the scores students earned on an exam that won't be going away this year: the ACT.

"We've had some positive growth," he said. "ACT scores have been increasing recent years."

This past year, the average composite ACT score in the district is 19.4. That number has risen every year since 2013, when the average was 18.7.

Riverton's ACT scores this past year were the third-highest in the county after Dubois (20.7) and Lander (19.9).

The latter schools' scores have both stayed relatively flat over the last five years.

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