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ACT Scores Show Disheartening Trend

High School Students Taking the ACT

A main education goal of the Obama White House is for every American high school student to graduate career- or college-ready, and to once again make the United States the country with the highest percentage of college graduates. New data from the ACT college entrance exam show just what an uphill battle that will be: fewer than 25 percent of 2010 high school graduates had the academic skills to pass college entry-level courses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Only 24 percent of this year’s senior class scored high enough on the ACT in math, English, reading and science to ensure they could handle those subjects as university freshmen. Worse, the WSJ reports, 28 percent of the class of 2010 didn’t score high enough in any one subject area to ensure they were college-ready. Forty-seven percent of America’s class of 2010 — 1.6 million students — took the ACT.

Critics say high schools are too locked in to traditional methods and schedules to make meaningful changes. The Journal quotes Jack Jennings, president of the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy, as saying: “High schools are the downfall of American school reform. We haven’t figured out how to improve them on a broad scope, and if our kids aren’t dropping out physically, they are dropping out mentally.”

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One Response to “ACT Scores Show Disheartening Trend”

  1. Maybe some of these people who keep slamming high school teachers should come into a freshmen class, especially in mathematics. In the 8 years I’ve been teaching, the average freshman has math/reading skills at the 5th to 6th grade levels at my school. I’ve had 16 year old geometry students who didn’t know what an angle was and couldn’t identify basic shapes. We work like dogs to get this students to some sort of high school level before they graduate.

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