Sometimes, an editor in Kentucky really misses the message.
A great case in point is the recent Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro) article, “ACT score gains encouraging” (subscription). The title of the article is OK; the gains Kentucky recently experienced on ACT college entrance test scores are encouraging.
However, Kentucky still has a VERY long way to go, making several statements in the article absolutely incorrect.
Say the editors:
“From what we can tell, the ACT scores are a clear sign that Kentucky’s educators are preparing students for a brighter future — and that’s whether it’s college or a career field after graduation.
Either path the students choose, it appears they’re ready.”
Well, the editors apparently got blinded by a small bit of improvement and missed some really important facts about how far Kentucky’s schools still have to go.
The truth, based on our students’ performance against the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) ACT Benchmark scores, is sobering.
Reaching the CPE’s Benchmark Score signals a student will not need a remedial course in the related freshman subject in a Kentucky public two- or four-year college. In other words, that student is truly ready for college work in that subject.
Sadly, the great majority of Kentucky’s High School Class of 2012 clearly is not prepared for either college or a career field.
This table, taken directly from the Kentucky Department of Education’s News Release 12-056 dated August 22, 2012, shows the percentages of the Class of 2012 that met the CPE Benchmarks. The data indicate that large percentages of Kentucky’s 2012 public school graduates in fact ARE NOT ready in these subjects.
More than half of our high school graduates are not ready in the key subject of reading. That will impact all college courses the student takes. An even lower percentage, far less than half, are college-ready for mathematics.
So, let’s get the right message out. Kentucky did prepare a few more students to succeed in college this year. That’s a good trend. But, the trend is moving slowly compared to where we want to be.
Kentucky still has a very long way to go before the great majority of our high school graduates will be “ready.” And, no amount of blind cheerleading can change that sobering fact.