Results of one of the tests designed to show student preparedness for college work are back. The question is: what do they also tell about the quality of education those students are getting?
The ACT measures preparedness in math, science, reading,and English. Top score is 36. The composite score of the 47-thousand Missouri students who took the test is 21.6, half a point above the national average but basically unchanged for the last five tests.
But only 28 percent of the students taking the test met readiness benchmarks in all four subjects.
State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says scores above the national average speak well of our students and indicate some good things are happening in our schools. But, "We’re very stable and we would certainly like to see that number going up," she says.
Nicastro says studies show students taking a core curriculum do better on the ACT. She says educators need to do more to require more students to take those core courses.
The composite scores of African-American students are five points below scores for Whites, more than six points below Asian-Ameircans. Nicastro says some students might be victims of lowered expectations. But she says teachers are not doing the right thing for children when they don’t push them. She says all students deserve the highest expectations and the best efforts of their teachers.