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CPS Students Set New ACT Score Record

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that students acheived a record high average ACT score.

CPS students scored an average of 18.4 on the 2015-2016 ACT exam, which represents the highest composite score for the district on record.

"Chicago's schools are realizing record-high academic achievements, progress that could not be made if it were not for the commitment by our students, teachers, parents and principals," Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. "Our continuously rising ACT scores signal that more of our students are not only college-ready than ever before, but that their hard work is paying off and opening doors to even more academic options once they graduate. Needless to say, these results are yet another indication that our schools are on the right track, and that the future for our students is bright."

ACT scores have steadily increased in recent years, with an increase of 1.2 points since 2011.

The district's composite average of 18.4 is a .2 increase from the previous school year. Improvements have been seen in reading, math and science.

"The ACT scores announced today are yet another indication that CPS students are performing better than ever and are increasingly qualified for college success," said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool in a statement. "Our students, parents and educators deserve to be applauded for their continued growth, and as a District we are committed to providing them with the tools, resources and strategies needed to continue their impressive gains."

The percentage of CPS students meeting and exceeding the national average ACT score of 21 is also on the rise. This past year, 30.5 percent of CPS high school juniors scored a 21 above on the ACT compared to 25.5 percent in 2013.

"ACT scores provide the District with an important measuring stick for success, and the scores released today show that our schools continue to improve in core subject areas," said Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson in a statement. "Increasing ACT scores mean our students are more likely to be accepted to college and attain valuable college scholarships that make college attendance a reality, and we are highly encouraged and motivated by the continued success of our students."

The growth in ACT scores follows other CPS achievements such as an increase in graduation rates, freshman on-track rates, attendance rates and college scholarship offers.

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