FARMINGTON -- Farmington High boasted its highest pass rate in school history on the 2021 Advanced Placement tests, and the middle school's fifth graders "knocked it out of the park" on their 2021 ACT Aspire tests, according to Joe McClung, Farmington assistant superintendent.
Test scores for the fifth grade last year were first in the region for math, science and reading. The fifth graders also ranked first in the region on their ELA score, which is a combined score for English language arts.
The fifth grade was ranked 21st in the state for its math scores and ranked 28th in the state for its science scores, McClung said.
"This was a really good year for them," McClung told the Farmington School Board at its Aug. 23 meeting.
The high school hit a milestone for its Advanced Placement scores. The school had its highest passing rate, 53.1%, in school history.
Clayton Williams, high school assistant principal, last week said 161 students took 288 exams. The school also gave out a record $16,285 to students for passing their AP exams, which is scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on an exam. The breakdown, Williams said, is that the school had eight tests with score of 5, 45 tests with a score of 4 and 100 tests with a score of 3.
Farmington presently offers 14 AP classes onsite. Some students took AP courses through Virtual Arkansas. Williams said one student sat for the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam and passed the test without taking the course.
Looking at ACT Aspire test scores for all grades, McClung said he believes Farmington is "right on point" and "right where we need to be" when comparing Farmington scores to state and regional averages.
Students in third-10th grades in public schools in Arkansas take the ACT Aspire assessments each year, though now the state is considering a proposal to change to a new statewide test.
Results show that 79.6% of fifth graders met readiness on English, compared to 69.1% for the state average and 71.2% for the regional average in Northwest Arkansas. For math, 63.2% met readiness, compared to a 51% state average and 40.5% regional average.
For science, 52.7% of the fifth graders met readiness, compared to an average of 32.3% for the state and a regional average of 36.8%. For reading, 51.7% met readiness, compared to 34.1% state average and 37.6% regional average.
The fifth graders' ELA scores show that 54.7% met readiness, compared to a state average of 43% and a regional average of 37.6%.
Other celebrations from the scores, McClung said, are that third graders and sixth graders also had a higher percentage than the state and regional averages in all tested areas. The third grade was in the top four in the region for science, reading, STEM and English, and the sixth grade was in the top three in the region in English, science, reading and ELA.
Highlights from the seventh, eighth and ninth grade scores are that the seventh grade was third in the region for English and ninth grade was in the top five in the region for English and ELA.
The 10th grade was in the top 5 in the region for English and STEM.
McClung said the ACT composite score for 11th graders who took the ACT last year improved by about 1/2 point, from an overall average composite of 18.7 in 2020 to an overall average composite score of 19.3 for 2021.