As Kentucky’s public high school class of 2009 prepares to walk the graduation aisle, it is sobering to contemplate how many of these students are fully prepared for the next challenges in their young lives.
Last year, the public school Class of 2009 established a historic first when every student, regardless of postsecondary education intentions, took the ACT college entrance test. The overall average results, shown by the far right bar in the first figure below, indicate that only a small portion – just 10 percent – of the class is fully prepared for college across all four academic areas tested by the ACT.
(From: “ACT State Test Profile Report – Spring 2008 ACT-Tested Juniors – Kentucky”)
(Note: Click on Graph to Expand for Easier Viewing)
The situation looks much worse for Kentucky’s minority students, as the next graph shows. Last spring only two percent of the state’s African-American members of the Class of 2009 tested fully ready for college, and the numbers don’t look much better for most of the other minority groups, either. Even among top performing Asian American students, little more than one in five showed they were fully prepared for college by meeting ACT Benchmark Scores in all four tested subjects.
Clearly, given the increasing need for higher education for a decent standard of living and with over half of our graduates now going on to high education, we need to do far better than this.