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Standardized tests are a game, with test scores as arbitrary as football scores. But if you have to play the game, you might as well play it well. Arlington High School has played the ACT game very well. KJAM reports that Arlington posted the highest average ACT score in South Dakota, a whopping 26.07.
Numerical perspective: 36 is perfect on the ACT. But that doesn't mean Arlington scored a 72%; scores are normally distributed around a mean that, in 2008, was 21.1. Anything in the 30s is generally regarded as remarkable. SDSU considers 24 enough to qualify for the Jackrabbit Gurantee. In 2008, South Dakota's state average was 22.0. Beating 26 as a group average is pretty darn good.
Arlington principal Rhonda Gross tries to keep the bar low, telling KJAM she's not sure Arlington's next crop of test-takers will be able to score so high. But I say keep the heat on those kids, Rhonda! When you win the state track meet or one-act contest, you don't tell the kids and parents, "Well, we probably can't pull that off again." You mount that big plaque on the wall where every kid can see it and tell them every day, "If they can do it, you can do it!"
Congrats to the students and teachers of Arlington High School, enrollment 102—keep up the good work!
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