American College Test scores improved in Alpine School District in 1990 and are still above the state and national averages, but what district officials say are "truly remarkable" are the district's Advanced Placement results.

Utah has a higher percentage of students participating in AP programs than any other state, and Alpine had a higher percentage of AP students in 1988 than any district in the state. Frank Cameron, district director of research and evaluation, said Alpine students accounted for 1,036 AP exams in 1988. Of those, 716 passed and received college credit.Statistics for 1988 are the most recent available, district officials said.Fifty-four percent of Alpine's seniors took an AP exam in 1988, up from 25 percent in 1983. The national ratio of AP exams per 100,000 students is 190. Alpine's ratio is 670 per 100,000 students.

"What that means is three-eighths of our students are graduating with college credit," Cameron told the Alpine School Board.

Alpine students also have twice as many AP classes to choose from than they once did. The number of AP subjects being offered doubled from 11 subjects in 1983 to 22 in 1988.

Alpine's 1990 English and composite ACT scores are higher than the national and state averages, but the district once again proved to be only average in math. However, the district's composite score average is the highest in five years. The district had a composite score average of 20.1 in 1986. Last year's composite score average was 19.6.

About 65 percent of Alpine's 1990 senior class took the ACT. Cameron said that because the ACT was revised for the first time in 30 years, the 1990 scores are calculated estimates of a combination of old test scores and new test scores. Exact ACT results will not be available until 1991.

Cameron said the previous ACT tested students in five major subject areas: math, English, reading, natural science and social science. The new enhanced ACT tests students in 12 subsets of those areas.

"We will start receiving information on how students are progressing in each of several specific subject areas," Cameron said.

Cameron said the scores of students who had completed the recommended high school core curriculum were lower than national and state averages, while the scores of students who had not completed the recommended core were higher. Board members said that may be because Alpine does not have an ACT preparation course.

Superintendent Steven Baugh said ACT scores and the AP results are good indicators of the district's strengths and weaknesses, especially since the results come from an outside evaluation.

"These two programs are developed nationally, they are scored nationally and give us a very good picture of ourselves as we compare to ourselves in previous years and to the state and to the nation. It shows us where we have academic excellence and areas where we need to make improvements," Baugh said.

One portion of the ACT surveys students about feelings toward several school-related topics. Cameron said most Alpine students said they are satisfied with class variety and school honors programs. However, 43 percent said they are dissatisfied with school rules and regulations, and 24 percent said they are dissatisfied with district grading policies.

(Additional information)

How Alpine rates

1990 estimated enhanced ACT scores

Alpine Utah U.S.

English 21.7 21.1 20.5

Math 19.9 19.7 19.9

Composite 21.4 21.0 20.5