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

Council on Postsecondary Education
2010 PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATES' ACT DATA RELEASED

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 18, 2010  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
502-573-1652, ext. 308
Cell: 502-330-6596
Sue.Patrick@ky.gov

Lisa Y. Gross
502-564-2015
Cell: 502-330-5063
lisa.gross@education.ky.gov
 


Average ACT scores for Kentucky’s 2010 public high school graduates were mostly unchanged from those in 2009, although more students met college-ready benchmarks in mathematics and science, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education announced today.

“This data is a crucial component of Kentucky’s efforts to implement next-generation learning strategies,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Parents and the public agree that students must be prepared for life after high school, and schools must have strong expectations for their students. Kentucky is adopting a new accountability system that focuses on improving the college-and career-ready rates for Kentucky high school graduates. While numerous regulations and support mechanisms will be put in place, the ultimate work is in every school and district in Kentucky.”

“Our colleges and universities are committed to increasing the college and career readiness of all our high school graduates,” said Council on Postsecondary Education President Robert King. “Beginning this fall, campuses will ramp up a full range of targeted intervention programs that we anticipate will improve college readiness for students who need more intervention. Our strong partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education, recent legislation and the good work of our campuses will pave the way for more students to be equipped for the 21st-century economy.”

ACT, Inc. developed College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, science and reading, with research indicating that students who reach those have a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course. The benchmark scores are:

  • 18 or higher on the ACT English Test
  • 22 or higher on the ACT Mathematics Test
  • 21 or higher on the ACT Reading Test
  • 24 or higher on the ACT Science Test

PERCENTAGES OF KENTUCKY PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATES MEETING ACT BENCHMARKS

 

2009

2010

English

52%

52%

Mathematics

24%

25%

Reading

39%

37%

Science

18%

19%

All Four

13%

14%

Some of the low percentages of Kentucky public school students meeting the benchmarks can be attributed to the larger population of students who took the ACT and to some students’ status as 11th graders who have not yet completed all of the credits necessary for graduation.

The number of public high school graduates taking the ACT increased slightly, from 40,906 in 2009 to 41,277 in 2010. To compile information for the release of 2010 graduating class data, ACT, Inc. used students’ scores from the last time they took the test. Since the ACT is administered to all Kentucky public high school juniors, some of those students may not have taken the ACT again as 12th graders.

(NOTE: The scores in this data release should not be compared to the scores released for Kentucky public school juniors on August 12. The groups represented in the two data releases are not comprised of the same students. Scores from this data release also should not be compared to data prior to 2009 because of the addition of more students and because of the inclusion of non-public students’ scores in earlier data collections.)

The 2010 composite ACT score for Kentucky public school students is 19.0, compared to 2009’s composite of 19.1. Nationally, the 2010 composite score is 21.0, and the composite for 2009 was 21.1. The national composite score includes both public and non-public school test-takers.

 

2009

2010

Kentucky Public School Students Tested

40,906

41,277

English Average Score

18.3

18.3

Mathematics Average Score

18.7

18.8

Reading Average Score

19.4

19.2

Science Average Score

19.4

19.2

Composite

19.1

19.0

The overall ACT Assessment consists of tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. ACT, Inc. 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, Inc. 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.

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.

In comparing Kentucky with the nation, the widest gaps in performance among students were in overall English and mathematics scores (2.2 points), and the smallest was in science (1.7 points).

Kentucky’s African-American public school students’ average composite score was 0.5 points lower than the national average for African-American students. Composite scores for non-white public school students increased, but gaps between the performance of ethnic minority and white students persisted.

AVERAGE KENTUCKY PUBLIC SCHOOL ACT COMPOSITE SCORES BY ETHNICITY – 2009 & 2010

 

2009

2010

 

#

Score

#

Score

African American

3,624

16.3

3,896

16.4

American Indian

677

15.8

167

16.7

Asian

505

21.0

497

22.5

Hispanic

935

17.1

846

17.6

White

31,707

19.6

32,293

19.4

Other/No Response

3,458

17.8

3,578

18.0

The composite score gaps between public school males and females of all ethnic groups in Kentucky were minimal in most subjects, with males posting a composite score of 18.8 and females a score of 19.2. 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.

Kentucky is one of only a few states that has implemented the Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) from ACT, Inc. and, through 2006’s Senate Bill 130, administers the ACT to all public school juniors. The state assesses public school 8th graders using the EXPLORE test and assesses public school 10th graders with the PLAN test through EPAS.

**NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: ACT DOES NOT PROVIDE DISTRICT- OR SCHOOL-LEVEL SCORES TO THE KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.**



 

Last Updated 8/18/2010
Privacy | Security | Disclaimer | Accessibility Statement