The ACT, Inc. released its reports for the high school class of 2019, and the first look at Kentucky’s data is disappointing, at best. In general scores fell from last year and are sometimes the lowest they have been in the past five years.
This first graph shows how Kentucky’s 2019 graduate performed against the ACT’s College Readiness Benchmark Scores. The data for this graph is found in the The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2019, Kentucky Key Findings report from the ACT, Inc.
The ACT, Inc. says that the Benchmark Scores represent the level of achievement required for students to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses. Those Benchmark Scores are currently set at 18 in English, 22 in Reading, 22 in Math and 23 in Science. The graph shows the percentages of Kentucky’s graduates in each of the past five years that reached or exceeded those Benchmark Scores.
As you can see, the new data for 2019 shows a consistent decline from last year’s results for Kentucky. Even worse, in every area except for reading, the 2019 scores are all lower than they were back in 2015. For the key areas of English, Math and Science, the 2019 scores are the lowest posted over the entire five-year period.
This isn’t progress. It’s regression.
And, there might be stories buried in this unhappy data about the impacts of Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. While Kentucky’s educators claim they recently abandoned the Common Core, the reality is that the current versions of both the math and reading standards in the state are not that much different from Common Core.
The results above, which are for all Kentucky students, public school, private school and home school combined, agree far too well with additional bad news released on October 1, 2019 about the performance of our 11th grade public school students during the state’s March 2019 ACT testing. Those 11th graders’ scores, reported by the Kentucky Department of Education, can be found in Table A in the department’s BRIEFING PACKET, STATE RELEASE, 2018-2019 Assessment and Accountability Results.
Here is a cut and paste copy of Table A.
Table A shows not only Kentucky’s 2019 graduates, but also the state’s 2019 juniors stubbed their toes on the ACT. There were drops in the 11th grade scores for every area tested between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school terms. Keep in mind that the public school juniors last year (2017-18) made up the graduating class in 2019. Those 2017-18 11th grade scores also show drops in Table A from the previous year’s testing in 2016-17.