NC Scores On Latest ACT Test Are Abysmal – #NCed

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:

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.

Related Reading from LL1885:

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Common Core, EDUCATION, Testing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to NC Scores On Latest ACT Test Are Abysmal – #NCed

  1. Pingback: NC 2018 SAT Scores Rise Slightly Over Previous Year | LL1885

  2. Joyce Martin says:

    The scores are low because of the new RESTORATIVE JUSTICE program which leads to increased classroom bad behavior with no real consequences and not only interferes in instruction but also lowers scores because teachers are required to EAT bad behavior in the classroom as are those GOOD students who want to learn and have to sit and watch it when they could be learning.

    If you are constantly correcting behavior of those WHO DON”T WANT TO LEARN with no consequences then you have no real time to teach. If children and adults know they can do bad things and not have any consequences then the bad behaviors only increase as does the number of people who engage in it.

    The purpose of Restorative Justice is to right wrongs based on discriminatory practices but instead it destroys education for the very groups they are trying to protect as well as for those who are not members of those groups!! It also creates more problems for those who claim discrimination by allowing the mindset that they can do whatever they want and can’t be touched which leads to a poor education and the belief that their bad behavior should be excused because they are members of a particular group. I was discriminated against as a child and as an adult but I have not used that discrimination to excuse bad behavior nor have I shown it!! This system needs to be ended before it does more damage. Teachers and administrators don’t need their mindset changed those who misbehave and their parents are the ones whose mindset needs changing. As a matter of fact this Restorative Justice Program should be a Restorative Family Program instead as most of the kids who show violence are lacking discipline at home and proper guidance and are often raising themselves except in a few cases.

    Please read a NY Post article written March 14, 2015 on the topic:
    How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe
    Here is an excerpt from that article:
    You have to have consequences,” Chicago fifth-grade teacher John Engels told the paper. “If you knew the cops weren’t going to enforce the speed limit…you’d go 100 miles an hour.”

    In Syracuse, meanwhile, teachers complain student behavior has worsened since the school district collapsed discipline structures in favor of restorative justice practices. They say teens are more apt to fight, mouth off to teachers and roam the halls under the more lenient policy. They’re even seeing increasingly violent behavior among elementary school children.

    While the approach may be “laudable,” Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern said in a recent letter to the Syracuse Post-Standard, it has created a “systemic inability to administer and enforce consistent consequences for violent and highly disruptive student behaviors” that “put students and staff at risk and make quality instruction impossible.”

    ‘Kids control the classroom’
    Los Angeles Unified School District is seeing a similar spike in campus offenses after its school superintendent followed federal orders to reduce suspensions of African-Americans. Even threats against teachers are ignored, as administrators’ hands are tied by the new policy.

    This program coupled with the COMMON CORE have both led to the demise of education in NC along with low teacher pay. It is a wonder NC has anyone who will teach here since teacher are so poorly paid, respected and supported. Long ago before the appearance of technology and entertainment type learning activities, so called hands on interactive bull crap was required STUDENTS WERE MORE LITERATE and COULD DO MATH without a CALCULATOR. Students now know technology but don’t necessarily use in the ways to learn but for entertainment. When we go back to reading, writing and math as was done in the 60s and 70s, students academic scores will go up as will their math and critical thinking skills. No one ever taught us to think, it is something that comes naturally when you have a good background in the basics–reading, writing and math and this is what most students lack unless they come from a disciplined home,


  3. Kathy Young says:

    Just watch. They will change to test so that more students pass.


    • That is exactly the plan. The ACT is designed to create a bell curve. Nothing more, nothing less. Rather than focus on testing students’ knowledge on subject matter, the architects of the ACT match the test to students’ test-taking abilities.

      The result is a test in which score averages are almost exactly the same from year to year.

      BTW, the SAT is even worse.


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