Washington High School: Home of the Blue Jays

ACT scores for the Washington High School Class of 2017 are above state and national averages, according to recently released results.

The national college-entry exam measures students’ readiness for college-level work. The highest possible score is 36.

Washington’s overall composite score is 21.5, up from 21.2 last year. The composite score includes the scores from the ACT Test Day in April. All 11th-graders in the state of Missouri were required to take the exam.

The state average is 20.4, up from 20.2. Nationally, 60 percent of students took the ACT, with a composite score of 21.0.

The composite score is the average of the most recent ACT scores of all graduates. The national average for the Class of 2016 was 20.8

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann said she’s​ very pleased with the ACT scores.

“We are above state average on the composite and all subtests,” she noted. “Scores also increased on all subtests from last year to this year, except for math, which only dropped 0.1 of a point.”

Straatmann said the district had 315 students take the test, seven fewer than last year. Statewide, a total of 68,480 students took the ACT.

“We strive to provide all of our students with tools to be college and career ready,” she said. “This is one indicator that shows our students are well prepared for the next step in their educational or work career.”

Washington High School Principal Dr. Kelle McCallum said she’s pleased with the increase in ACT scores for the Class of 2017.

“Our students and teachers work hard to identify lessons to prepare students for the next level,” she said. “We will continue to work as a school to research and implement best practices to our students’ success now and in their future.”

McCallum said several WHS teachers incorporate higher level questioning into their courses that relate to those types of questions asked on assessments such as the ACT.

“Our overall building goal is to increase the score to a 24 and we will continue to identify strategies that support our students in accomplishing this goal,” she said. “It is inspiring to see that over 300 of our students took the ACT and that we scored above both the state and national averages.”

Breakdown of Scores

WHS graduates scored higher than the state average in all subjects tested.

In English, the average score for Washington was 21.3, as compared to 19.3 statewide.

In math, Washington students scored higher with an average score of 21.2, as compared to the statewide average of 19.9.

For reading, the average score was 21.7, as compared to 20.8 statewide.

In science, Washington students scored an average 21.3, compared to the state’s 20.5.

The ACT is the primary college-entry exam used by Missouri students and is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest.


Thirty percent of Washington students met all four ACT college benchmarks, compared to 23 percent statewide.

A benchmark score is the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher in credit-bearing college courses.

For English composition, the benchmark is 18 on the ACT English test; for college algebra, it’s 22 on the ACT math test; social science, 22 on the ACT reading test; and biology, 23 on the ACT science test.