Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that a total of 63,829 students from Tennessee’s graduating class took the ACT, earning an average composite score of 20. This represents a 98 percent participation rate, which is an all-time high in the state. Of those students, 41.7 percent earned a score of 21 or higher, making them eligible for the HOPE scholarship.
While the 2019 ACT composite is down slightly from the 2018 composite score of 20.2, the decline in Tennessee closely mirrors national declines in ACT results. Tennessee’s increase in participation affirms the state’s commitment to providing access to all students.
The department uses students’ best ACT score, meaning that if a student took the ACT multiple times, the score included in today’s results reflect his or her highest score. This is different than ACT’s calculation, which reports results based on the last score a student received, and also includes results from private school students.
Germantown Municipal School District recorded a 26.3 average composite, the highest district ACT average composite in the history of the state. Van Buren County Schools made the largest gains in the state from 2018 to 2019, raising its average composite by 1.7 points to 18.9.
Seven of the sixteen districts located in distressed rural counties showed average composite gains from 2018 to 2019: Jackson County Schools, Scott County Schools, Clay County Schools, Fentress County Schools, Lake County schools, Lauderdale County Schools, and McNairy County Schools.
“Tennessee continues to show a strong commitment to advancing student achievement,” Commissioner Schwinn said. “As more students take this assessment, we are more aware than ever before of the diverse needs of our state. Our new strategic plan, Best for All, will strengthen supports around high-quality materials, the whole child, and our educators and leaders.”