WASHINGTON (AP) — Just a quarter of this year’s high school graduates who took the ACT tests have the reading, math, English and science skills they need to succeed in college or a career, according to data the testing company released Wednesday.
The numbers are even worse for black high school graduates: Only 5 percent are fully ready for life after high school.
The results, part of ACT’s annual report, indicate thousands of students graduate from high schools without the knowledge necessary for the next steps in life. The data also show a downturn in overall student scores, although company officials attribute the slide to updated standards and more students taking the exams — including those with no intention of attending two- or four-year colleges.
“The readiness of students leaves a lot to be desired,” said Jon Erickson, president of the Iowa-based company’s education division.
The ACT report is based on the 54 percent of high school graduates this year who took the exams. Roughly the same percentage took the SAT — the other major college entrance exam — and many students took both tests. Those who took only the SAT were not included in the report.