A top state education official says this year’s A-C-T results illustrate the need to refocus on teaching math and science in Iowa schools. Judy Jeffrey, an administrator in the Department of Education, says math and science classes need to be “more rigorous” in high school. She says in addition, there need to be better math preparation courses in middle schools.Jeffrey says the department is pushing high schools to improve, and to implement new teaching strategies. Jeffrey says high schoolers need to take at least four years of English, and at least three years of math and science.Iowa students who took the A-C-T this past academic year had an average score of 22 — which ranks Iowa second in the nation, behind Wisconsin and tied with Minnesota. However, for the first time, A-C-T measured whether test-takers were ready for college-level courses. Only 26 percent of the students who took the A-C-T were prepared enough to earn a C or better in a college biology class, and only 40 percent were prepared to earn an A, B, or C in a college algebra class.
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