Oklahoma high school seniors who took the ACT test last spring showed modest gains in English and reading over their 2010 state counterparts, a new report shows.
Data released today by ACT indicates that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.5 in English and 21.3 in reading on the ACT test, which is 0.1 point higher than last year’s scores. The state’s score in science maintained its 10-year high of 20.6. In math, the score remained unchanged at 19.9, which is a 20-year high for the state.
This compares to a national average of 20.6 in English. Oklahoma’s scores in reading are equal to the national average. The national average in science and math are 20.9 and 21.1, respectively.
The report shows that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.7 on the ACT test, unchanged from the previous four years. The national average for 2011 graduates was 21.1.
“We are pleased to see Oklahoma’s ACT scores continuing on a positive trend because these scores directly relate to college preparedness,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “However, there is still work to be done. We need to continue to ensure that our students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to succeed in college and compete in today’s global economy.”
Oklahoma’s three largest groups of minority students continue to perform above their national peers. The composite ACT for Native Americans in Oklahoma is 19.5 for 2011, which is 0.9 point higher than their national peers. African Americans scored 0.2 point higher than their national peers in 2011. Hispanic graduates outscored their national peers by 0.2 point.
Seventy-six percent of the Oklahoma graduating class of 2011 took the ACT, which is an increase of 3 percent from 2010. Over the last five years, the number of test takers has increased by almost 7 percent, while the three major ethnic groups in Oklahoma have increased their ACT test participation by 30 percent.
The percent of Oklahoma graduates who are ready for college course work is higher compared to five years ago in all four subject areas tested – English, mathematics, reading and science.
Much is being done to improve student academic preparation by requiring students to take a more rigorous curriculum in response to the Achieving Classroom Excellence initiative and the Oklahoma Educational Planning and Assessment System (OK EPAS) program. The ACT scores of students who took the OK EPAS EXPLORE test in the eighth grade exceed the national norm in reading by 0.6 percentage points and science by 0.3 percentage points.