Go to Kentucky.gov home page
Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education
KENTUCKY ACT SCORES MOVE UP FOR 4TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
502-573-1555 ext. 308
sue.Patrick@ky.gov

Lisa Gross
502-564-3421
lisa.gross@education.ky.gov
 


(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- The composite ACT score for Kentucky's year 2006 college-bound high school seniors gained slightly over the 2005 composite score, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education announced today.

The 2006 composite is 20.6, compared to 2005's composite of 20.4. Nationally, the 2006 composite score was 21.1, a gain of 0.2 from 2005 in 2004.

In 2006, 29,786 (76 percent) took the test, compared to 1990, when 24,942 Kentucky high school graduates (62 percent) did.

Year

#Tested

#In Rigorous Courses

1990

24,942

7,088

1999

28,745

12,694

2000

29,670

13,885

2001

30,084

14,506

2002

29,532

17,274

2003

29,877

17,557

2004

29,581

17,738

2005

29,943

18,114

2006

29,786

17,705


ACT also asks test-takers to report the courses they took in high school. Over the past 16 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of Kentucky students reporting that they are taking ACT's recommended core courses. The number of students who report taking ACT's core curriculum has increased by more than 10,000 students since 1990. In 2006, 59.4 percent of Kentucky high schoolers who took the ACT noted on surveys that they also took the recommended core courses. Nationwide, 54 percent of students indicated that they took the recommended core.

ACT developed College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, science and reading, with research indicating the students who reach the levels have a high probability of earning a C grade or higher in certain credit-bearing first-year college courses. The benchmark scores are:

   * 18 or higher on the ACT English Test
   * 22 or higher on the ACT Math Test
   * 21 or higher on the ACT Reading Test
   * 24 or higher on the ACT Science Test

Among students in Kentucky:

   * 67 percent met or surpassed the English benchmark, compared to 69 percent nationally
   * 34 percent met or surpassed the math benchmark, compared to 42 percent nationally
   * 50 percent met or surpassed the reading benchmark, compared to 53 percent nationally
   * 23 percent met or surpassed the science benchmark, compared to 27 percent nationally

The overall ACT Assessment consists of tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. ACT recommends that college-bound students take four or more years of English; three or more years of mathematics (including algebra 1, algebra 2 and geometry); three or more years of social studies; and three or more years of natural sciences. ACT defines specific courses in these areas. Kentucky's graduation requirements define four credits in English; three in mathematics; three in social studies; three in science; one in history and appreciation of visual and performing arts; and one-half each in health and physical education.

"Larger percentages of Kentucky students are meeting ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks, but those numbers also reinforce the importance of rigor and relevance in high school courses," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit. "Beginning this school year, under Senate Bill 130, the grade 8 EXPLORE and grade 10 PLAN components of ACT will be implemented, and statewide ACT testing for all of our public high school seniors will begin in the 2007-08 school year. Combined with new graduation requirements, we will ensure that Kentucky's high school students have access to high-quality, appropriate and precise coursework that provides them with the knowledge base they need to be successful on ACT assessments and beyond."

Many Kentucky colleges and universities use ACT scores to inform admissions decisions and to place students in appropriate college courses. ACT scores also are used, along with high school grade point averages, to determine the amount of money high school graduates are eligible to receive through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship program.

"We are encouraged that Kentucky's ACT scores continue to show improvement annually," said Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. "With Senate Bill 130 and Kentucky's statewide postsecondary placement policy, Kentucky is the first state to establish a framework of assessment aligned from middle school to college placement. With early and regular feedback, more Kentuckians will be prepared for success in college and the skilled workplace, and the quality of life in our Commonwealth will improve."

In comparing Kentucky with the nation, the widest gap in performance among students was on overall mathematics scores (0.9 point) and the smallest was in reading (0.3 point).

African-American students in Kentucky who took the college-bound curriculum performed similarly to African-American students at the national level. At both the national and state levels, the gap between the performance of African-American and white students persisted.

The score gaps between males and females of all ethnic groups in Kentucky were minimal in most subjects, with males posting a composite score of 20.8 and females a score of 20.4. On ACT, which offers only multiple-choice questions, males tend to outscore females in mathematics and science, and females tend to outscore males in English and reading.

AVERAGE KENTUCKY ACT COMPOSITE SCORES BY ETHNICITY -- 2000 - 2006

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
African American 16.8 16.6 16.6 16.8 16.9 16.8 17.1
American Indian 18.6 17.5 18.4 19.5 18.4 19.7 19.1
Asian 21.0 21.3 21.5 21.8 21.7 22.3 22.3
Hispanic 19.6 19.4 19.1 18.9 18.9 19.2 19.5
White 20.4 20.4 20.3 20.5 20.6 20.6 20.9
Other/No Response 20.3 20.3 20.1 20.1 20.5 20.4 20.7
All Students 20.1 20.1 20.0 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.6

                          ##



 

Last Updated 8/16/2006
Privacy | Security | Disclaimer | Accessibility Statement