Iowa, Nebraska graduates' ACT scores top national average, but minorities still lag

08 September, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Patsy Dennis
  • US Students' Scores Inch Up on Latest ACT

"In a statement released this morning, Union County School District Chief Academic Officer Cindy Langley announced that the ACT scores of Union County High School seniors in the Class of 2017 improved slightly over the baseline established by the Class of 2016".

Beginning this school year, the ACT and SAT tests replace end-of-instruction exams and will be required for all 11 grade students.

Additionally, the Class of 2017 increased scores in three out of four of the major content areas including Math (18.6 over 18.5), Science (18.8 over 18.6) and Reading (18.8 over 18.7). "When you look at the percentage of students meeting those benchmarks are generally 18 to 19 points higher than students nationwide".

Overall, college readiness has been stable, the ACT reported, though one-third of test takers this year didn't meet any testing benchmarks.

To help students improve their test scores, the Department of Career Education's Career Coach Program offers an ACT Academy for students who score below a 19 on the English, Reading and/or Math section of the ACT and who want to improve their scores.

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Likewise, only 36 percent of students tested reached the reading benchmark, up from 35 percent previous year. The ACT measures a student's readiness for college in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.

In Iowa and Nebraska, students identified as white and Asian got the highest composite scores. But Weeks said the fact that Hispanic students' scores are rising while more of them take the test is "cause for optimism".

Twenty-eight percent of tested 2017 Nebraska graduates met all four benchmarks, compared with 27 percent for the nation.

Brashier Middle College Charter had the highest score in Greenville County at 22.3.

Although college entrance exams may not be the most accurate indicator of a student's preparedness, Woods says they can give some idea of how kids are doing.

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Hawaiʻi's public school students have continued to see steady growth in meeting college readiness benchmarks in Reading and Science according to a new report released today by the ACT. The benchmark score reflects the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test that statistically indicates the student has a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing college courses, which include English Composition, Algebra, Social Science, Biology and STEM.

An ACT analysis looks at the performance of "underserved" students by examining three criteria: whether students are from low-income families, belong to racial-minority groups, or would be the first in their families to attend college. Eighty percent of test takers are ready for college level English (as opposed to 61 percent nationally).

ACT also reported that many students don't take advantage of the chance to take the exam for free.

Students must also have an ACT of 26, along with a 3.7 high school GPA, to qualify for the top level of HOPE, the Zell Miller Scholarship. But many students have work obligations and transportation problems that interfere with weekend testing dates, he said.

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