An ACT report says about one-third of Missouri’s 2016 high school graduates were academically prepared for college. It also says about 59% of Missouri students are college ready in English, 40% in reading, 35% in math and 32% in science.

New learning standards adopted for Missouri’s K-12 schools. Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Education

Image courtesy of Ed Department

Department of Education Spokesperson Sarah Potter says the state’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests also indicate about one-third of grads are ready for college.

The Missouri 2016 graduating class’s average ACT score of 20.2 is below the national average of 20.8. Missouri’s average ACT score in 2014 was 21.7. The highest possible score is 36.

“There’s about 18 states that test at 100% of their students graduating. We fall right about the middle, which is consistent with what we see with a lot of measures with Missouri,” says Potter. “We were expecting the score to be a little bit lower than what we had seen in the past, because you had 18,000 more students taking it. These are students that probably would not have taken it on their own.”

Missouri’s 2016 graduating class was the first group of Missouri students required to take the ACT. In 2015, the state legislature put $4.2 million into the budget to allow Missouri high school 11th graders to take the ACT once at no cost to the student.