Drop in ACT scores represents more test-takers, not a decline in achievement, Evers says

From the Department of Public Instruction

Wisconsin’s participation in ACT testing jumped to 100 percent for the 2016 graduating class as the state joined 19 others that administer the college admissions exam to all public school graduates. Wisconsin’s composite score is 20.5, ranking fourth in the nation for “census testing” states.

ACT_Scores“These results are a solid starting place,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “By administering the ACT as part of our statewide testing program, we are assessing for college and career readiness. That’s a high bar, but it’s what employers and postsecondary schools tell us is required for high school graduates to be successful. These results represent achievement for all students, not just those headed to college who took the ACT in prior years.”

The “Condition of College and Career Readiness” report from ACT for the 2016 graduating class includes 66,564 public and private school students in Wisconsin who took the ACT during their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school, a 42 percent increase in participation from the prior year. For the 2015 graduating class, 46,738 students, or 73 percent of graduates, took the ACT with a composite score of 22.2. Nationally, 2,090,342 of 2016 graduates took the ACT; they represent 64 percent of graduating seniors compared to 2015 when 59 percent of graduates took the ACT. The national composite score for the class of 2016 was 20.8, down from 21.0 for the prior year’s graduates.

ACT predicted a 1.3 to 1.8 score decline for the seven additional states that funded ACT testing for all 11th-graders in 2015 as part of their statewide assessments. The testing company also indicated that the addition of more states with census rather than voluntary testing contributed to the drop in the national score, representing not a decline in student achievement, but results for a more representative student population. ACT research also shows that scores initially decrease when states adopt the ACT for all students, but the increase in access and opportunity supports continuing progress.

Read more from DPI:

ACT participation jumps to 100 percent for 2016 graduates

MADISON – Wisconsin’s participation in ACT testing jumped to 100 percent for the 2016 graduating class as the state joined 19 others that administer the college admissions exam to all public school graduates. Wisconsin’s composite score is 20.5, ranking fourth in the nation for “census testing” states.

Read more from the Associated Press:

Wisconsin superintendent says ACT scores starting point

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s state superintendent describes a drop in ACT college preparatory test results as a “solid starting place,” given that they represent the first year that all high school seniors took the exam. Wisconsin’s average score on the ACT test this year dropped 1.7 points to 20.5.