The latest round of ACT scores are out and North Carolina’s scores were abysmal with only around 18 percent of students meeting the ACT’s “college readiness” benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science.
Before we get the North Carolina specific numbers, a quick excerpt from the article that accompanied the ACT report, Math Readiness Drops to 14-Year Low among US High School Graduates, According to ACT 2018 Report (ACT Blog):
The percentage of ACT-tested graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math—suggesting they are ready to succeed in a first-year college algebra class—fell to its lowest level since 2004; 40% of 2018 graduates met the math benchmark, down from a high of 46% in 2012.
In addition, students’ average score on the ACT math test dropped to its lowest level in more than 20 years—down to 20.5 (on a scale of 1 to 36), continuing a slide from 21.1 in 2012 to 20.7 last year.
Student readiness in math was on an upswing from the early 2000s to 2012, but it has gradually declined since then.
Readiness in English has also been trending down over the past several years, dropping from 64% in 2015 to 60% this year, the lowest level since the benchmarks were introduced.
Readiness levels in reading (46%) and science (36%) were both down one percentage point from last year but are showing no long-term trends either upward or downward.
Below are the NC’s average scores alongside the National Average in parentheses.
Percent of Graduates Tested: 100 (55)
Average Composite Score: 19.1 (20.8)
Percent meeting English Benchmark: 46 (60)
Percent meeting Reading Benchmark: 35 (46)
Percent meeting Math Benchmark: 31 (40)
Percent meeting Science Benchmark: 25 (36)
North Carolina’s ACT scores haven’t really moved much either for the last seven years. Last year’s report for the Tarheel state’s ACT scores included the following highlights:
- Composite score: 19.1; the national average was 21.0.
- Math average of 19.3; 2016 it was 19.4 and in 2013 it was 19.6.
- Science average of 19.3, 2016 is was 19.2 and 2013 it was 18.7.
- 18% of test takers met all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks: (2016: 18% and 2013: 17%).
- 47% of test takers met zero ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. (2016: 46%, 2013: 49%)
- 28% of test takers met three or four ACT College Readiness. (2016: 28%, 2013: 26%)
As I said in my opening sentence, abysmal. The reporting on these scores is even more depressing:
- Math Scores Slide to a 20 Year Low (Ed Week)
- ACT Math Score Drop Unsurprising Says Past NCTM President (Truth In American Education)
- Years After States Adopt Common Core, 2018 Sees Worst ACT Scores in over a Decade (Western Journal)
To access the ACT report and accompanying documentation, visit the page for the 2018 ACT Report. This page has subreports for “National Profile” and “Average By State.”
Just a friendly reminder – Earlier this year,
Grendel’s mother Achieve Inc. put out it’s “independent analysis” of the ACT and Common Core. The report trashed the ACT and called the ACT tests a “weak match” in Math and English Language Arts.
Achieve’s report followed a quiet back and forth battle between them and the ACT. The ACT had been quietly resisting Common Core in 2016.
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