A new report from the Kentucky Department of Education lists results for this year’s full testing of all 11th grade students on the ACT college entrance test. I blogged yesterday on how our students performed against the ACT Benchmark Scores that indicate good college preparation. That discussion showed we have a very, very long way to go.
Today, let’s look at the ACT Composite Score results.
In a bit of good news, while scores remain well below what is desirable, they are inching up a bit for most of the student groups reported.
The top part of this table, which comes from the Kentucky Department of Education’s news release 10-043 about the scores, shows the only exception of note to the general progress in scores is for Hispanics, who made no improvement from 2009 to 2010.
Things are a less satisfactory in the area of the achievement gaps, shown below the blue line in the table. I computed these from the KDE score data shown above the blue line in the table.
Kentucky’s largest minority group, the African-Americans, lost a little ground to the whites in the scoring gap for 2010 versus 2009. So did the Hispanics. However, the gaps in 2010 for both these racial groups are not as large as they were in 2008. Still, the gaps shown here are substantial, indicating that we have a lot of work to do to provide good educations to our minority students.
On another happy note, whites closed their gap a little with Kentucky’s always academically superior Asian American/Pacific Islander group.
I will probably have more comments once I get a chance to review the full set of data from the department of education, which you can also access here.
By the way, full ACT testing of all 11th grade students started in 2008 as a result of Senate Bill 130 from the 2006 regular legislative session. The Bluegrass Institute supported the policy of class-wide testing of 11th grade students with the ACT and of eighth and 10th grade students with coordinated tests from ACT for several reasons.
• We wanted more reliable information about how our schools were doing in getting students ready for follow-on higher education studies,
• We hoped that adding these tests to our accountability system would encourage schools to become more focused on college preparation,
• We also hoped that some bright students who were not considering college would be encouraged to do so, and finally,
• We hoped that students who needed more work and assistance would learn about their deficiencies in time to improve.
The slow inching up of scores indicates that the desired effects are starting to appear even though the rate of progress is far slower than desired.