No improvement: ACT says college exam scores are stagnant

The percentage of 2015 high school graduates who are prepared for college is modestly above levels of prior years, according to a new report by the ACT testing organization.

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Across the country, 59 percent of 2015 grads took the ACT test, so the report doesn’t evaluate college readiness for all students.

Utah saw a drop in its composite ACT score from 20.8 last year to 20.2 for this year’s high school graduating class.

In Colorado, 26 percent of 2015 graduates met all four of the benchmarks the testing group uses to determine college readiness.

States that test more students, such as Illinois, are more likely to include lower performers or students who have no intention of attending college.

Statewide, around 88 percent of the graduating seniors took the test. That’s up from 86 percent previous year. That’s up from 12 percent in 2014, but below 28 percent nationwide. That was up from 19 percent for the Class of 2014. “And this really argues for continuing to have high standards in math and continuing to have high levels of access to challenging college-track course work as early as possible for our students”. More than three-quarters of those who took the exam were white. When fewer take a test, average scores often rise. Just 34 percent of Michigan students were deemed college-ready in algebra and biology – the national average is 42 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

“We will be working with our friends in higher education to look more deeply into this data to see how we can improve outcomes for all of our students”, Smith said.

The average ACT score in Louisiana has increased by 0.2 points-the largest gain in the nation.

The state’s percentage of graduating test-takers who met the benchmarks previously had been steadily increasing from 17 percent in 2008.

-That’s compared to 52 percent of white students who passed the college readiness standard in math, 48 percent in science, 75 percent in English and 56 percent in reading. The number of black test-takers increased from 4,452 to 4,540.

Thirty-nine percent of Kentucky students scored well enough to be considered college-ready in reading, compared with 46 percent in the U.S. Over the same time frame, at or around a quarter of students each year have met academic benchmarks in all four subjects. It gives schools the opportunity to address student needs for improvement before they graduate, she said.

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“We’ve got to move past the numbers and focus on how this will impact students’ lives”, he said about low-achieving students. “In the increasingly competitive job market, where decent jobs are requiring more advanced skills and training, this is a huge problem”.

Gwinnett, Buford Schools fare well on ACT results