The recent ACT (American College Testing) results reveal a disturbing pattern for students in the Juab School District, said Leon Pexton, board of education president.
Each year, he said, the school district receives a performance summary from the ACT program. The ACT is the college entrance test used by most Western colleges in accepting students for higher education."A disturbing pattern has developed the last few years which has the board of education (for the Juab School District) and the district administration concerned," said Pexton. "It should also concern parents since student performance is an indicator of how students will perform at the college level."
For years, said Pexton, Juab's well-prepared students have performed well. "The problem is with those who have not prepared as well as they should."
Historically, he said, one of three Juab High students who take the ACT test has taken a rigorous high school course of study. Nationally, the ratio is one of every two students.
Students who take a rigorous course of study perform better on the test than their peers on the state or national level who take a similar course of study, said Pexton.
"A rigorous course of study is defined as four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of social science and three years of science."
For the past several years, said Pexton, 60 percent to 70 percent of Juab High School graduates enter some type of post-high school education system. "We expect this trend to continue," he said, "with perhaps more entering in the future."
This percentage is higher than the national average.
"The problem lies in how well students are preparing themselves with the needed classes," said Pexton.
"At the home level, parents can help by making sure their children are registering for the courses they will need and then pushing them, pulling them and encouraging them to complete them at the best of their ability. Take an active part in planning your child's future," said Pexton.
"The scores reflect the problem. Students in the less prepared group are being outperformed at both the state and national level."
If education beyond high school is the goal, then students should take the "necessary courses to help them succeed," said Pexton. "The courses are there. Juab kids just are not taking them.
"They know their future is based on a good education after high school; their entrance into college proves this. But the foundation for post-high school success is not being laid."
Statistics on how many students actually complete college or other training courses are not available for Juab students. "On a national level only about 12 percent of entering freshmen graduate with a four-year degree."
Pexton said the latest research indicates those graduating from high school today will change jobs approximately seven times and switch careers once. "This will be a result of changing needs for skills in the work place," he said.