Scores on the ACT test taken by juniors in Kentucky's public high schools in the spring improved slightly over last year in most subject areas, according to results released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.Search ACT data at H-L.
The composite score for Kentucky juniors this year was 18.8, up from 18.5 in 2010.
Average scores in English rose from 17.8 last year to 18 this year. Math went up from 18.3 to 18.5; reading from 18.9 to 19, and science from 18.7 to 19.
Students who achieve so-called "benchmark" scores or higher on the ACT are considered ready for college-level courses. Those benchmark scores are 18 in English, 22 in math, 21 in reading and 24 in science.
According to ACT officials, students who reach benchmark scores have a 50 percent chance of getting a grade of B or higher, or a 75 percent chance of getting a C or higher, in corresponding first-year college credit courses.
Test data released Wednesday show that the percentages of Kentucky juniors ready for college work have increased fairly steadily since Kentucky started requiring juniors to take the ACT in 2008.
In a story released yesterday in H-L:
The percentage of Kentucky high school graduates reaching benchmark scores on the ACT test improved in some subjects this year, but educators still have much work to do, results being released Wednesday show.In an apparent effort to be fair and balanced the story quoted a politician from the Bluegrass Institute who made no effort toward either.
For example, more than 35 percent of Kentuckians who graduated from high school this spring failed to achieve any benchmark score on the ACT. The benchmark scores indicate likely success in college.
The Kentucky numbers are included in the national 2011 Condition of College and Career Readiness Report, which ACT Inc. [released] Wednesday morning at the Jessamine Career and Technology Center in Nicholasville...
Richard Innes, an analyst with the free-market Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, contended that scores from Louisiana, another 100 percent testing state, show the potential of charter schools. Louisiana opened large numbers of charters after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.The fact that Innes unabashedly suggested a causal relationship between charters and the ACT is not surprising - not as surprising as the fact that H-L continualy returns to him and other politicians at BIPPS as sources for education analysis in news stories. Their stuff belongs on the opinion pages.
Innes noted that Louisiana's 2011 ACT composite score was 20.2, compared with Kentucky's 19.6. Louisiana's scores for white and African-American students also were significantly higher than Kentucky's, he said.
"There definitely are indications here that a well-run charter program could help us a lot," Innes said.
For example, Innes has cited Tennessee's value-added system as a shining example of what Kentucky should aspire to. Yet, "Kentucky, with an overall composite ACT score of 19.6, edged ahead of Tennessee, whose composite was 19.5." Is that proof enough for Innes that value-added systems don't work?
Where is the Bluegrass Institute's press release abandoning their support for such systems?