High school principals soon will be presenting ACT scores for their schools along with college remediation rates to their local school boards.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said this year’s scores show the continued need for all Oklahoma students to take four years of core subjects.
“The results are very clear that if you take four years in these core subjects, whether or not you plan to go on to college, it is the best training for your future career,” Barresi said.
A total of 28,223, or 76 percent, of Oklahoma graduates from the class of 2011 took the ACT exam this year, up from 73 percent in 2010. The average composite score for the state is 20.7, a number unchanged since 2007, and below the national average of 21.1. The ACT is graded on a scale of 0-36.
Average subscores for state students are 20.5 in English, below the national average of 20.6; 19.9 in math, below the national average of 21.1; 21.3 in reading, matching the national average; and 20.6 in science, below the national average of 20.9.
Both composite scores and subscores for each public high school in the state have been posted at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/ACT-11.pdf.
ACT scores determine whether students enrolling in post-secondary institutions are required to take remedial courses. The state Board of Education requires every high school principal to present the ACT scores for his or her school each year along with college remediation rates at their local, public board of education meeting.
The statewide average remediation rate for first-time freshmen entering college in the 2009-10 school year-- the most recent number available -- is almost 43 percent, according to the state Regents for Higher Education.
Of the total number of state students taking the ACT this year, 8 percent were African American with an average composite score of 17.2 percent, 11 percent were American Indian with an average score of 19.5 percent, 61 percent were Caucasian with an average score of 21.6 percent, 8 percent were Hispanic withan average score of 18.9 percent, and 3 percent were Asian American with an average score of 22.4 percent. Nine percent were listed as other.
The scores showed improvement from last year, but Barresi said they still show educators need to continue to focus on having minority populations participate in Advanced Placement courses.
“We want all students to have equal opportunities to succeed,” she said.
While average subscores in the state are only slightly behind the nation, the number of high school graduates meeting college readiness benchmarks in the state is 10 percent behind the nation in math and five percent below the nation in science. Only 20 percent of graduating seniors met benchmarks in all four subject areas.
Benchmarks represent the level of achievement students need to have a 50 percent chance of securing a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of receiving a C or higher in entry-level college courses. ACT benchmarks are 18 for English composition, 21 for social sciences (reading), 22 for college algebra and 24 for biology. Only 35 percent of seniors tested in Oklahoma reached the mathematics benchmark, only 25 percent met the science benchmark.
Barresi has asked educators to redouble their efforts in helping a greater number of students achieve higher scores in these areas in the future.
Oklahoma high schools posting the highest average ACT composite score for 2011 (excluding the Oklahoma School for Science and Mathematics’ score of 31.4) are:
Scores have been withheld for schools with only one or two test takers to comply with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
* Classen School of Advanced Studies and Booker T. Washington High School test students before granting admission.
Other states in the region:
State, composite score, percent of graduates tested
Kansas, 22, 79
Missouri, 21.6, 71
Texas, 20.8, 36
Colorado, 20.7, 100
Arkansas, 19.9, 91
New Mexico, 19.8, 72
For high school remediation scores, go to: http://okhighered.org/oeis/preparation.