City, county schools fare well in WorkKeys testing

The majority of Jasper City and Walker County schools’ seniors in 2015 were determined to be workforce ready, according results from ACT WorkKeys testing. While the majority of students in the county take the ACT Aspire test, high school seniors have their knowledge tested through ACT WorkKeys, which determines workforce readiness. Seniors at Walker High School — the only high school in the Jasper City Schools district — tested 73 percent workforce ready, while seniors in all other Walker County Schools were determined 56 percent workplace ready. Five levels of readiness are determined in WorkKeys test results: platinum, gold, silver, bronze and no certificate (the failure to be workplace ready). Students who receive a platinum level score qualify for 99 percent of jobs in the ACT database, followed by gold level at 93 percent, silver at 67 percent and bronze at 16 percent. Scores at the platinum, gold or silver level indicate career readiness. WorkKeys is made up of three skill assessments: applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. Twenty-four percent of Walker High School students scored at the gold level; 49 percent at the silver level; 24 percent at the bronze level; and approximately 3 percent did not receive a certificate. For the Walker County Schools system, as a whole, 7 percent of students scored at gold level; 49 percent at silver; 38 percent at bronze; and 6 percent received no certificate. Of all schools in the Walker County Schools system, Cordova High School seniors had the highest workforce readiness score at 64 percent, followed by Carbon Hill and Oakman High schools at 60 percent, Curry High School at 56 percent and Dora High School at 41 percent. Statewide, 60 percent of high school seniors scored workforce ready, and only 1 percent of students scored at platinum level. The majority of students scored at the silver level, roughly 44 percent. The test scores were provided by PARCA (Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama), a data research center.