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ACT Scores Improve, But Many Ky. Students Not Ready for College

LEXINGTON, Ky. - ACT college entrance exam scores among Kentucky’s high school juniors and seniors are up from last year, but thousands of students are not meeting standards for college readiness. 

Results released Wednesday show the average composite score was 19 for public school juniors. The graduating class of 2012 had a composite score of 19.5 on the college entrance exam, which measures skills in English, reading, math, and science. That’s lower than the national composite average of 21.1.

The scores will be compared to benchmarks set by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

“That means that if you score at a certain level in English, math or reading, you’re ready for college-level work and you don’t have to take remedial courses. So we have some work to do in that area,” says Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross.

All Kentucky public high school students are required to take the ACT during their junior year and many re-take the test as a senior. Based on their ACT score, only 46.5 percent of graduates in the class of 2012 were considered ready for college reading.

“It’s not that we’re just reporting the data and saying ‘OK there it is and that’s all we’re going to do.’ There are some things that are available to help students, teachers, and administrators so that everybody can be successful,” says Gross.

The ACT scores are one part in determining a schools’ college and career readiness rate and will a play a role in the state’s new Unbridled Learning accountability model. More school accountability data will be released in October.

Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.