The ACT, Incorporated publicly released the ACT college entrance test results for the Class of 2010 today. The numbers include all students from public, private and home schools and are different from the numbers reported last week. Last week’s numbers only covered the results for 11th grade public school students tested in Kentucky.
Kentucky’s ACT Composite Score for all graduates remained at 19.4, the same as last year. Because 100 percent of Kentucky’s graduates took the ACT in both years, and because the number of graduates taking the ACT in Kentucky only rose by a few hundred students (from 45,419 in 2009 to 45,763 this year), this isn’t good news. Along with a lot of our educators and legislators, I expected at least a little rise in scores.
What is news is the fact that more states experienced at, or near, 100 percent participation of their graduates on the ACT this year, including three other Southern states. This is an important development, because in the past ACT participation by state has varied widely, making it difficult to do any meaningful state-to-state comparisons. Now, with the high participation states on a more even playing field, it is possible to do more worthwhile comparisons.
This graph shows the ACT Composite score for all the high participation rate states in 2010. All the states shown had at least a 96 percent rate of participation for their graduates on the ACT.
The first thing Kentuckians will notice is that we are pretty far down in the “stack” in 2010 for our ACT Composite Score. This includes trailing two Southern states, Tennessee (where 100 percent of the students tested) and Louisiana (where 98 percent tested).
Perhaps the most remarkable story in this graph involves Louisiana. The state was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but it now has the next best scores behind the two original states to adopt 100 percent testing with the ACT. I’m going to have more to say about Louisiana in subsequent posts.
By the way, back in 2002 when Illinois and Colorado first started reporting scores for classes that had 100 percent ACT participation, their scores were about half a point lower than they are now. Hopefully, Kentucky will see some growth in the future just like happened in Colorado and Illinois.
ACT should soon release a series of reports, including some that focus on Kentucky, in their web site later today. Once those specific links appear, I’ll pick them up in later posts. So, stay tuned, as there will be at least three more blogs on this important score release.