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Gatton Academy students top state ACT averages for fifth straight year

Students at the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky at WKU outperformed their high school peers for the fifth consecutive year on the American College Test (ACT).

The Kentucky Department of Education announced the results for the recently graduated Class of 2012 on Wednesday. Gatton Academy students outpaced their peers, receiving an average composite score of 32 out of 36 possible points on the exam — a score 12.5 points ahead of the statewide average.

As mandated by state law, all Kentucky public school juniors participate in the ACT, which assesses English, reading, mathematics and science and is scored on a scale of one to 36. Many college-bound seniors take the test at least one more time during high school.

Academy administrators were pleased with the improvement in scores since the class was admitted as sophomores in spring 2010. The average composite increased by three points.

The exceptional scores come as no surprise to Dr. Tim Gott, director of the Gatton Academy.

“It should come as no surprise that our students do well on the ACT since they were selected from among the top students in the state,” Gott said. “What pleases me most is the amount of growth from their sophomore year to their senior year. Going from an average composite of 29.0 to 32.0 is a substantial jump. This reveals the work ethic of the students and the rigor of our curriculum.”

Chad Phillips, assistant director for admissions and public relations, added that Gatton Academy students showed strength not only in math but across the English and critical reasoning sections of the exam.

“Since the Gatton Academy emphasizes mathematics and science, many individuals are surprised to learn that our students are equally strong in other academic areas such as English,” Phillips said. “While our students intend to pursue advanced careers that require substantial study in mathematics and science, we are pleased to know that our students are becoming well rounded problem solvers that can handle that challenges of a 21st century economy.”

Phillips is also quick to share the success of Gatton Academy students on the test with their local sending districts. Students’ scores are included in the average of their local school on this and other required assessments, an important component in the shared relationship between the program and high schools across the state.

“The Gatton Academy is an extension of every school and district in the state,” Phillips said. “The scores are only possible with the combined preparation students received from their home institutions and continued study at the Gatton Academy. We are excited that districts are partnering with us to provide appropriate challenges while helping students grow academically and socially.”

More: Learn more about the Gatton Academy on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Contact: Chad Phillips, (270) 745-2971.

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