Iowa students did well compared to students in other state who take the A.C.T. college entrance exam according to results released today. A.C.T. vice president, Steve Kappler says Iowa students did well in the four subject benchmarks of English, math, reading and science.
He says the benchmarks are “essentially the set of skills the student is going to need to be successful outside of the secondary side,” including anything from a two-year to a four year college or trade school. Kappler says they define success in a couple of ways.
Kappler says from a college perspective, success is defined as having a 50% chance of obtaining a “B” or higher or a 75% chance of obtaining a “C” or higher. He says 31% of the Iowa students who took the A.C.T. met the college success definition. There were 22,968
Iowa students who took the A.C.T. — which was 61-percent of last spring’s graduating seniors –a slight increase from the previous year.
Kappler says Iowa students did well in each category a comparison to other states. In English 66% of students in the nation met the benchmark, while 77% of Iowa students met the benchmark, for reading it was 52% nationally and 62% in Iowa; in math it was 45% nationally and 52% in Iowa; and science it was 30% nationally and 40% in Iowa.
Kappler says while science was the lowest scoring area for Iowa students, things are changing. “There’s two trends which are very encouraging, not just for Iowa, but for the nation,”Kappler says, “that we continue to see slow and steady growth in the math and science benchmarks in particular.”
He says the growth can be attributed to different things, but one is the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives in the state that focus on those subjects. Iowa had the second-highest average A.C.T. composite score among states that tested more than half of students in the Class of 2011.
Iowa students averaged a 22.3 out of a possible 36 points, up slightly from the 22.2 average of last year. Minnesota led the nation with an average score of 22.9, and the national average was 21.1.