Home » News & Analysis » Commentary » ACT Scores Show Most Not Ready For College. Now What?

ACT Scores Show Most Not Ready For College. Now What?

Share This Story

Last Wednesday, annual ACT scores were released and the results were dismal. Only 25% of 2012 ACT test takers met college readiness benchmarks in all four areas tested- 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 post-secondary 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.

Bear in mind also, that these statistics only include the students taking the ACT, preparing to enter college. The number of test takers under-prepared for college and careers is even worse when looking at the other three subjects- 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.

As I await the release of the 2012 SAT scores later this month, I can’t help but prepare myself for more disheartening news.  How many more years of stagnant test scores are we willing to accept? It is obvious that the status quo is not adequately preparing our children for college and careers. It’s time that we each take a step back, admit it’s not working and then work to reform our education system to emphasize student achievement. CER believes that knowledge is power.   That’s why we launched our Taking America Back to School on Education Reform campaign to educate both students and parents about the reforms that work to increase achievement.

Research indicates that school choice is helping educational attainment, increasing access to quality education and betterpreparing students for life after high school. Stay tuned for more information on your options, how you can exercise choice, and join the effort to make real change at your schools.