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ACT Results: Only 25% Ready For College

Only 25% of 2012 ACT test takers met college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects tested. The ACT is a college-entrance exam that tests high schoolers in English, Reading, Math, and Science. The ACT defines college and career readiness as “the acquisition of the knowledge and skills a student needs
to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year courses at a postsecondary institution (such as a 2- or 4-year college, trade school, or technical school) without the need for remediation.”

Breaking down college readiness by subject yields better numbers. For instance, 67% of students tested met English college readiness benchmarks. However, that means 33% of students taking the ACT have not been sufficiently prepared by their schools for learning at the next level. And that’s just students taking the ACT.

The number of 2012 ACT test takers underprepared for colleges and careers gets worse by subject — 48% failed to meet Reading benchmarks, 54% failed to meet Math benchmarks, and a whopping 69% failed to meet Science benchmarks.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently released data indicating that America continues to lose ground internationally when it comes to producing college graduates. Well, it’s not hard to see from these ACT statistics why this is the case. Ensuring students can graduate college means ensuring that students are first adequately prepared.

So just how do we get U.S. high schools to do a better job preparing students for post-secondary success? Try choice.

School choice research indicates that options are helping educational attainment, and our nation’s economic security depends on giving students a quality education that ensures they are prepared for life after high school.