ACT: 22% of this year's grads are ready for college
The average ACT score hit a new low this year, while the percentage of test-takers who failed all four College Readiness Benchmarks hit a new high of 42 percent. Only 22 percent were ready in all four subjects: reading, English, math and science.
Based on ACT's research, students meeting a benchmark have a 50 percent chance of earning a B or better in an entry-level course in that subject and a 75 percent chance of earning a C or better.
It's not just the pandemic, said ACT CEO Janet Godwin. Scores have been declining each year for the past five years. But closed schools and remote classes made it worse.
An increasing number of students are taking the ACT in their classrooms during school hours, rather than reporting to a testing center on the weekend. That makes it more convenient for students from low-income families and those in rural areas to take the test, but also lowers the average score.
On the flip side, fewer students are taking the ACT and SAT as fewer colleges and universities require test scores for admissions. ACT's number of test-takers is down by 30 percent since 2018, 37 percent for black students, reports AP. Usually, the weaker students are the ones eager to skip the test.
I think students should be told in middle school whether they're on track to pass university classes, to succeed in an apprenticeship or a job training program at a community college, to qualify for the armed services or to be able to fill out an employment form at a fast-food restaurant. They should be told what they need to do to get on the path they wish to follow and offered help to get there.