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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Florida lags behind the nation in ACT scores

From the Tampa Bay Times, by Jeff Solochek

ACT results for the Class of 2012 came out this morning, with a mixed bag of good news and bad.

On the down side, Florida's composite score of 18.9 continued to fall short of the national average score of 20.5 on the college entrance test. Florida students on average haven't attained the national mark in any of the past five years.

Worse yet, just 18 percent of Florida test takers were found ready for college-level work, measured by meeting the benchmark score on all four ACT test areas. That compares to 25 percent nationally.

“Far too many high school graduates are still falling short academically,” ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore said in a news release. “We need to do more to ensure that our young people improve. The advanced global economy requires American students to perform at their highest level to compete in the future job market and maintain the long-term economic security of the U.S.”

On the up side, Florida saw its participation rate on the ACT test rise for another year, with small increases in the average score on all test areas. Its minority student participation rose, as did those results.

"There is still work to be done and room to grow; however, I am pleased to share this good news and applaud our students and teachers for their hard work," commissioner Gerard Robinson said in a news release. "As we move forward with Common Core Standards, our state will be in the best position to ensure that every student is ready to excel in college and careers."

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