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Subject:

Most Students Not College-Ready, ACT Scores Reveal & WSJ: College-Entrance Test Scores Flagging & book

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 25 Aug 2009 15:56:40 -0500

Content-Type:

multipart/related

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (247 lines) , image001.gif (247 lines) , image002.gif (247 lines) , image003.jpg (247 lines)

 <http://space.sparklist.com/t/3685506/6589586/26130/0/> Most Students Not
College-Ready, ACT Scores Reveal
Only 23% of U.S. high school graduates are expected to earn at least a "C"
or better in first-year (core) college courses-a 1% increase over last year,
according to new data. ACT's annual report on college readiness, which
analyzed the entrance-exam test scores of 2009 high school graduates,
revealed that over three-quarters of students will have to take remedial
courses in ACT's tested subjects-English, reading, math, and science. Among
them, the students proved least prepared for science, where only 28% are
ready for college-level biology. Additionally, 42% are considered adequately
prepared for college algebra. Wall Street Journal, 8/19/09 

*	The Wall Street Journal

*
<http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-career-education-college.html>
EDUCATION 
*	AUGUST 19, 2009 

College-Entrance Test Scores Flagging 

 

.
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125065253283242295.html#articleTabs=article
> Article 

.
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125065253283242295.html#articleTabs_comment
s> Comments (46) 

more in
<http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-career-education-college.html>
Education >

By
<http://online.wsj.com/search/search_center.html?KEYWORDS=ROBERT+TOMSHO&ARTI
CLESEARCHQUERY_PARSER=bylineAND> ROBERT TOMSHO 

(See Correction & Amplification
<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125065253283242295.html#CX> below.)

Only about a quarter of the 2009 high school graduates taking the ACT
admissions test have the skills to succeed in college, according to a report
on the exam that shows little improvement over results from the 2008
graduating class.

The Iowa City, Iowa-based ACT said 23% of this year's high school graduates
had scores that indicated they were ready for college in all four ACT
subject areas, or had at least a 75% chance of earning a grade of C or
better in entry-level courses. Last year, a similar ACT analysis found that
22% of the class of 2008 was college-ready.

[keeping in step]

"We're not making the progress we need to be making," said Bob Wise,
president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy group focused
on boosting high-school graduation rates. "The only way you improve these
numbers and get them higher is by improving your secondary schools."

About 1.48 million of the 3.3 million members of the high school class of
2009 took the ACT, typically in their junior year. ACT said its report was
based on comparing students' ACT test scores in English, reading, math and
science with the grades they earned in related courses during their first
year in college.

The report comes as budget concerns are forcing many state universities to
cut back on slots for new students and raise admission standards. Many are
also eliminating remedial courses, making it tougher for unprepared students
to stay in school.

Observers said the report is likely to intensify calls for Congress to
stress high-school improvement when it debates reauthorization of the
federal No Child Left Behind law, perhaps as early as this year. Passed in
2001, the law's primary emphasis so far has been on boosting achievement in
the lower grades.

Among single subject areas, the level of preparedness was worst in science,
where only 28% of students were ready for college-level biology. Another
problem was math, where 42% were deemed prepared for college algebra.

Some education experts said that even a slight improvement in combined
college readiness rate, to 23%, is a good sign, given that five states now
require all students -- not just those planning to attend college -- to take
the ACT.

 <http://www.wsj.com/community> Journal Community 

.          <http://www.wsj.com/community> Vote: How would you grade the U.S.
secondary education system? 

"It's an achievement," said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on
Education Policy, a Washington-based nonpartisan research group focused on
No Child Left Behind, the federal government's primary law covering public
schools. "They are including many more lower-achieving students than ever
before."

"I think we are moving in the right direction," said Cyndie Schmeiser,
president of ACT's education division, who noted that 70% of 2009 graduates
took a college-prep curriculum in high school, up from 56% in 2005.

High school students from Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Wyoming
are all required to take the ACT, previously a test generally limited to
college aspirants. Combined, they accounted for a little less than 25% of
the 2009 graduates who took the test.

Recent studies have shown that while younger students have made some
progress in recent years, boosting results at the high school level has been
difficult. A Department of Education report in April on the results from the
National Assessment of Education Progress -- a key federal test -- found
that U.S. high school students haven't made any significant progress in
reading or math for nearly four decades.

Looking Back at Student Preparedness

Journal coverage of past debates over student preparedness: 

.
<http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-ACT-09091959.pdf>
College-Bound Students Face Tougher Entrance Tests as Applicants Increase
(Sept. 9, 1959)

.
<http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-ACT-03061964.pdf>
Entrance Tests Stir Debate as Applicants for College Increase (March 6,
1964)

.
<http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-ACT-09051972.pdf>
College Entrance Test: Biased and Burdensome or a Real Opportunity? (Sept.
5, 1972)

.
<http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-ACT-02281978.pdf>
Biggest Testing Service Faces Critical Scrutiny as Its Influence Grows (Feb.
28, 1978)

The troubles are also reflected in results from the 2009 ACT, which is
graded on a 1-to-36 point scale. Students averaged 21.1 points this year,
flat compared with 2008 and only 0.2 points higher than in 2005.

ACT said about 40% of 2009 test-takers were unable to use the correct adverb
or adjective to form a sentence, or couldn't use the correct preposition in
a phrase. The same proportion couldn't solve multi-step math problems
involving percentages and fractions.

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest, an antitesting advocacy group, said the class of
'09 was in the 5th grade when the NCLB law passed. "No Child promised to
improve college readiness," he said. "The data show, in fact, that scores
have been stagnant that achievement gaps are essentially unchanged."

In a bid to improve college and high school graduation rates, President
Barack Obama is offering states, public schools and colleges additional
federal funds to launch new initiatives.

Write to Robert Tomsho at  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] 

Corrections & Amplifications 
The president of the Alliance for Excellent Education is Bob Wise. A
previous version of this article incorrectly identified him as Bob White.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A3

Sources:  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125065253283242295.html#printMode

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125065253283242295.html

 

 


 <http://space.sparklist.com/t/3685506/6589586/26131/0/>
http://www.principals.org/s_nassp/docs/images/collegeknowledgeREV.jpg
<http://space.sparklist.com/t/3685506/6589586/26131/0/> What Does it Mean to
Be College-Ready?
Noting the clear difference between being college-eligible and
college-ready, the author of College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for
Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready lays out the
problems with preparing high school students for the academic demands of
college as well as how the problems can be remedied. The book offers a
detailed, subject-specific checklist to demonstrate the level of challenge
that college-bound students can expect. Look for it in the NASSP store.

 

 

 

Dan Kern

AD21, Reading

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Road

Union, MO  63084-4344

Phone:  (636) 583-5195

Extension:  2426

Fax:  (636) 584-0513

Email:  [log in to unmask]

 

http://www.studentveterans.org/

 

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is
it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks
the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a
position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it
because one's conscience tells one that it is right. (Martin Luther King,
Jr.) 

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner. Put

yourself in his place so that you may understand what he learns and

the way he understands it. (Kierkegaard)

 

To freely bloom - that is my definition of success. -Gerry Spence, lawyer
(b. 1929)    [Benjamin would be proud, I think.]

 


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