MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Education released results from the statewide administration of the ACT to all high school juniors in the 2015-16 school year.
According to a news release issued by MDE, the percentage of students meeting the benchmarks scores in all four subject areas increased from 9 percent to 11 percent.
Here is a breakdown of Pine Belt school's scores:
Mississippi juniors saw their average scores increase in English, Math, Reading and Science, with the average composite score increasing from 17.6 in 2014-15 to 18.3 in 2015-16.
"These score increases are encouraging and can be further improved if we continue to challenge high school students with higher level coursework," said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. "It is important that students take the right kinds of courses in the right sequence so that they are prepared for college and for work."
Among the 29,852 students who took the ACT in 2015-16 while in the 11th grade, 40 percent reported having taken four or more years of English and three or more years each of math, social studies and natural science.
These students outperformed their peers who reported taking fewer courses in these subjects, according to the news release.
According to MDE, an ACT benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college courses, which include English Composition, Algebra, Social Science and Biology.
For students whose benchmark scores fell between 15 and 18, many districts will continue to offer the Southern Regional Education Board's senior year math and literacy readiness courses.
These readiness courses were developed specifically to help close the readiness gap for students who are on the cusp of meeting the ACT benchmark scores, according to the release.
MDE will continue to offer districts training related to analyzing ACT data, evaluating course taking patterns and designing ACT preparation courses.