August 13, 2008

Just 22 percent of those who graduated high school in 2008 are ready for college, according to ACT, the organization that administers the college admissions test of the same name. Yet, some 94 percent of high school students plan to attend college--and many do. ACT sets college readiness benchmark scores in four subject areas: English, math, reading, and science. Students who hit each benchmark are, based on ACT research, likely to receive at least a C in first-year, college courses in the applicable subject area. According to the organization, "The percentages of ACT-tested 2008 high school graduates who met or surpassed ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks in math (43 percent), reading (53 percent), and science (28 percent) were unchanged compared to last year." (Only 22 percent reached the benchmarks in all four areas.) But the proportion who reached the goal in English (68 percent) dropped by one percentage point compared to the last two years. The average ACT composite score is down from last year, too (it was 21.2 and is now 21.1), but the number of test-takers continues to rise: this year, 1.42 million sat for the ACT, which is 9 percent increase from 2007. ACT claims it's great news that while the number of test-takers grew, the average test score remained mostly the same. But it's not great news that a mere 22 percent of all those who take the ACT--and only 3 percent of black students who take it--are expected to receive at least a C in basic college classes. Unfortunately, it's not even news--it's predictable. Find the report here.

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