A report using data from ACT test scores and College Readiness Benchmarks found that the class of 2012 has made slight improvements over previous classes when it comes to college and career readiness. However, there are still areas of concern.
The study, representing over half of all U.S. high school graduates, found that while 67 percent of ACT tested high school graduates met the English College Readiness benchmark and 52 percent met the Reading benchmark, only 46 percent met the Math benchmark and 31 percent met the Science benchmark. Only 25 percent of all ACT tested high school graduates met the benchmarks in all four subjects.
More students are taking the ACT than ever before. There was 17 percent increase in the number of students taking the ACT between 2008 and 2012. There was also an increase in the number of African American and Hispanic students taking the ACT. The number of Hispanic students taking the ACT has increased by 120,000 between 2008 and 2012. The number of African American students taking the ACT has increased by 80,000 during the same period.
When looking at academic performance by Race/ethnicity between 2008 and 2012, Asian, African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and White students have seen small gains. American Indian students have seen a dip in their academic performance on the ACT, down from 18.6 in 2011 to 18.4 in 2012.
The researchers provided some suggestions for improving our student’s college and career readiness, including:
- early student monitoring and intervention,
- use of student growth models in early monitoring, and
- a comprehensive framework of best practices.
In Washington, 21 percent of the high school graduating class of 2012 took the ACT.
Read the full report here.