College readiness exam scores are on the rise among Cobb County students.

In both the Cobb and Marietta school districts, students from the class of 2020 scored higher on the ACT test than students from the class of 2019.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, Cobb County School District announced that 3,276 students from the class of 2020 took the ACT test, and they posted an average composite score of 23.2 out of 36. That is a 0.2-point increase over Cobb’s 2019 average composite score of 23.

Marietta City Schools, whose lone high school is Marietta High School, had 208 test takers, and those students posted an average composite score of 22.4. That is a 1.6-point increase compared to Marietta’s 2019 average composite score of 20.8.

Cobb’s average of 23.2 on the ACT test is 2.6 points higher than the national average and 1.5 points higher than the Georgia average. Marietta’s average of 22.4 is 1.8 points higher than the national average and 0.7 points higher than the Georgia average.

Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale attributed the improved test scores to the resilience of students and excellence of teachers.

“Our students continue to show resilience and determination,” Ragsdale said in the news release. “2020 has been a difficult year for many reasons, but Cobb teachers and students have continued to excel. I have the utmost appreciation for how our teachers have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, and this is another example that proves Cobb is the best place to teach, lead, and learn.”

Walton High School led the district with an average composite score of 27.4, the third-highest average in the state. Lassiter and Pope high school students posted an average composite of 25.9, and Wheeler posted an average of 24.7. Other schools with average composite scores of at least 23 points include Harrison at 23.7, Kennesaw Mountain at 24.1 and Campbell at 24.1.

Campbell’s score marks a nearly three-point increase from its average composite of 21.3 in 2019.

“These scores reflect the hard work of our students and teachers, even in the face of the challenges of the pandemic,” said Campbell Principal Jeanne Walker. “The ACT gains mirror similar improvements on other academic measures such as SAT scores, (End of course test) scores, and graduation rate experienced at Campbell in past years.”

Marietta High School Principal Keith Ball congratulated his students for their success and said the school has prepared students to succeed in college or in the workforce.

“Outperforming the nation for a 3rd consecutive year and earning the highest composite score in the last decade is another indicator of just how amazing our students are and how committed they are to their future,” Ball said. “Our students are well equipped to learn, earn, and serve once they leave Marietta High School.”

Georgia’s average composite score of 21.7 was up from their 2019 score of 21.4. State Superintendent Richard Woods applauded students for excelling in the face of adversity during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am always glad to see Georgia students succeeding, but there’s something special about the class of 2020’s accomplishments,” Woods said. “These students, who saw their senior year come to an abrupt halt due to a global pandemic, have now outscored their peers across the nation on both the SAT and ACT. To say I’m proud of them would be an understatement.”

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