The Central Community School District is tied for tops in the state on a national test of college readiness, education officials said Wednesday.

Central students compiled a composite score of 21.8 this year on the ACT, which puts the district in a tie with the St. Tammany Parish school system.

“We have made progress,” said Michael Faulk, superintendent of the district.

The state average, which was released last week, is 20.2, which is 41st in the nation.

The national average is 21.1.

A perfect score is 36.

ACT results are used for admissions and scholarships, including TOPS in Louisiana.

Other Baton Rouge area scores include:

• East Baton Rouge Parish school system, 19.2.

• Ascension Parish school system, 20.6

• Livingston Parish school system, 20.9.

In addition, the Zachary Community School District got a score of 20.3, and the City of Baker school system’s score was 17.2.

The 21.8 composite score for Central is up from 21.0 last year, which is a big gain by ACT standards.

It also represents a reversal from 2009, when the district’s ACT results dropped to 20.1 from 20.9 in 2008.

Faulk credited this year’s improvements to students and staff, including tutoring and another test of college readiness that has been given to 10th-graders in recent years.

“It lets you know your potential as a college student,” he said.

“Each year that we have done that, potential has improved, which in turns leads to higher ACT scores,” Faulk said.

The 19.2 composite score in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system is down from 19.4 last year.

The system’s top mark in the past five years was 19.7 in 2009.

“We know that there is work that needs to be done to increase our ACT scores, and we will evaluate these results to help us better prepare students for this test in the future,” East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent John Dilworth said in a prepared statement.

Dilworth said district officials will also work with high schools to ensure that they have the materials needed to improve ACT results.

State officials said 41 out of 71 school districts statewide showed improvements this year compared with 29 last year.

The lowest score in the state is 15.9 in the East Carroll Parish school system.

The district results include only public school students.

The state and national results include public and nonpublic students.

Nearly 36,000 public and private high school students took the test earlier this year, which was essentially 100 percent of Louisiana’s graduating class.