The ACT report found that there is substantial room for improvement in college and career readiness. Among 2010 ACT-tested graduates, a combined total of 43 percent met either none (28 percent) or only one (15 percent) of the four benchmarks. Those students are likely lacking many of the skills needed to be ready to succeed in credit-bearing first-year college courses and in workforce training programs this fall, the report found.
College readiness and subsequent completion is something that President Barack Obama has made one of his central goals for education.
“President Obama has set an ambitious goal that the United States will lead the world in college completion by the end of the decade,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “While the college readiness of our students has been gradually increasing in recent years, it isn’t nearly high enough to meet this goal. We need to continue to advance reforms that prepare students for success in college and careers.”
Schmeiser agreed that more can be done to improve the number of students who are college ready when they finish high school.
“While we’re encouraged by the growth we’re seeing, we still have far too many students in our nation graduating from high school without the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in college and career,” Schmeiser said. “Efforts are already under way on many fronts to address this problem, and this hard work must continue until the problem is resolved.”
The ACT results come at a time when much national focus is being placed on adopting and implementing new college and career readiness standards in high school. Many states have already adopted or are in the process of adopting the Common Core State Standards. ACT has been a partner in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, helping inform the development of the standards.
While there have been more students meeting all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks over the past five years, the average ACT composite score has remained essentially unchanged. The national average composite score this year was 21.0, down slightly from 21.1 in three of the past five years. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score.
Note to readers:
Don’t forget to visit the Measuring 21st-century skills resource center. Graduates who enter the workplace with a solid grasp of 21st-century skills bring value to both the workplace and global marketplace. Go to:
Measuring 21st-century skills
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