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Oklahoma educational Indicators Project

Mean ACT Scores by High School Site

Background

With the passage of the "Oklahoma 2000 Education Challenge Act" in May of 1989, the state of Oklahoma affirmed a commitment to promoting excellence in the education of Oklahoma children.  The act established that the State Board of Education publish annually a summary report of information provided by the Oklahoma Educational Indicators Project.  The purpose of this program is to develop and implement a system of measures or indicators of educational performance.  The act also mandated that the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) cooperate in the annual publication of this report.  The State Regents, with the cooperation of the State Department of Education and other agencies, has participated in the development of indicators of comparative educational standing and accomplishment. The High School Indicators Project reports on: (1) ACT scores, (2) college-going rates, (3) college credit hours and GPA, and (4) remediation rates (beginning in 1995).  In compliance with Senate Bill No. 183, the State Regents will transmit these data to the Office of Accountability.

The Mean ACT Scores of the High School Indicators Project provides the mean ACT scores of Oklahoma high school graduates. 

Methodology

The State Regents compute the mean ACT composite and subject scores for the state of Oklahoma for each individual high school site.  This computation is based on the highest composite test score of those who took the ACT more than one time.  ACT, Inc. calculates the mean ACT composite score on the last test score.  Therefore, the computed mean ACT scores by OSRHE and ACT, Inc. are not comparable.  The rationale for using the highest score is that Oklahoma higher education policies rely on ACT scores and other relevant data in making collegiate level decisions for the student.  Consequently, the highest score more accurately reflects student achievement.

The student’s ACT score is credited to the high school where the highest score was earned.  If the high school code does not match a valid Oklahoma high school site, then the score is excluded.

For high schools with five or fewer ACT test-takers, an asterisk was entered to comply with the federal privacy act. 

Mean ACT Scores by Oklahoma High School Site

According to ACT, 1,568,835 high school graduates across the United States took the test. Oklahoma high school graduates represent 28,343 of these test-takers. Of these test-takers, 26,665 (94.1%) provided enough information to be matched with a valid Oklahoma high school code. This is 2.4 percentage points higher than the previous year. The lower percentage can in part be attributed to the increase in online applications where high school information is not required.

Oklahoma’s 2011 senior class scored an average composite score of 20.9, which equaled the previous year.  The State’s scores in mathematics (20.0) declined by one-tenth of a point from the previous year.  English (20.5) remained unchanged from the previous year as did science (21.0).  Reading increased slightly by one-ten of a point to 21.7.  School composite scores range from a high 31.7 to a low of 14.4. Statewide, fifty-two percent of the students taking the ACT fail to score 19 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the exam and remains an area of weakness in Oklahoma student preparation.  Over seventy-four percent of the Oklahoma graduating class of 2011 took the ACT at least once. 

Many Oklahoma students are taking more challenging courses that better prepare them for college.  In 2011 sixty-seven percent of Oklahoma’s graduating seniors took the ACT college preparatory core curriculum.

Measuring College Readiness

The ACT test is a measure of educational development.  Performance on the test is influenced by the student's educational experiences.  The ACT Corporation cautions against using the ACT test scores in isolation from other measures to infer the overall quality of schools and education within a state.  Specifically, the ACT tests are designed to measure high school students' educational development as related to their readiness to pursue further study at the college level.

2011 Oklahoma ACT-Tested Graduates Ready for College-Level Work

Many Oklahoma students fail to meet ACT’s College Readiness Benchmark Scores which measure the number of ACT-tested graduates that will likely be ready for college level work. As few as 20 percent of the 2011 Oklahoma ACT tested graduates meet all four benchmarks as indicated in the graph. A benchmark score is the minimum score needed in a subject area for a student to have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit bearing college course.

Data for all 2011 high school graduates can be viewed by clicking on the link provided below. For more information on ACT Scores or questions, contact Randy McCrary at 405.225.9100 or rmccrary@osrhe.edu .

2011 Mean ACT Scores

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Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.