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Entries in Testing (2)

Wednesday
Aug172011

College-Bound Students Not Prepared in Basic Subjects

Creatas/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Only one in four college-bound high school graduates is adequately prepared for college-level English, reading, math, and science, according to report released Wednesday by the ACT college admissions test.

Some 28 percent of the members of the high school class of 2011 failed to meet readiness benchmarks in any of the four core subject areas.

"ACT results continue to show an alarmingly high number of students who are graduating without all the academic skills they need to succeed after high school," the report stated.

The study also revealed a wide "achievement gap" between racial and ethnic groups.

  • In English, 77 percent of white students and 76 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 47 percent of Latinos and 35 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Reading, 62 percent of both white and Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 35 percent of Latinos and 21 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Mathematics, 71 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark compared with 54 percent of white students, 30 percent of Latinos and 14 percent of African-Americans.
  • In Science, 41 percent of Asian-American students met the readiness benchmark versus 37 percent of whites, 15 percent of Latino students and 6 percent of African-Americans.
  • Some 41 percent of Asian-Americans met the readiness benchmarks in all four subjects, compared with 31 percent for whites, 11 percent for Latinos and 4 percent for African-Americans.


"There's still a significant and an actually growing gap both at incomes levels and at racial/ethnic levels in the achievement of those benchmarks," said Jon Erickson, interim president of ACT. "This is a national imperative and a national concern."

Readiness was defined as a student having a 50 percent chance of getting a B or a 75 percent chance of getting a C in first-year courses English Composition, College Algebra, Biology, and social sciences.

There was some good news in the report. The percentages of all students meeting the benchmarks in mathematics and science increased from 2010 to 2011 by 2 percentage points in math and 1 percentage point in science. They remained the same for English (66 percent) and for reading (52 percent)

More than 1.6 million 2011 high school graduates -- 49 percent of the entire national graduating class -- took the ACT exam.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec072010

Sec. Arne Duncan: "Developed Nations Are Out-Educating Us"

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan has responded to a new report showing that American students continue to fall behind internationally, saying the findings “show that a host of developed nations are out-educating us.”

The report, Highlights From PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context, out Tuesday, reveals the U.S. now ranks 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading out of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries.

OECD countries such as Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand continue to outpace the U.S. in reading, science and math. China also delivered a wake-up call to experts. In its first year to be included in the study as a non-OECD country, Shanghai ranked first in all three categories.

“The findings, I have to admit, show that the United States needs to urgently accelerate student learning to try to remain competitive in the knowledge economy of the 21st century,” Duncan said at a press conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “Americans need to wake up to this educational reality instead of napping at the wheel while emerging competitors prepare their students for economic leadership.”

The U.S. did show improvement in science and math from 2006 to 2009, but Duncan warned “I don’t think that’s much for us to celebrate. Being average in science is a mantle of mediocrity.”

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, Duncan said the U.S. should focus on recruiting and supporting talented teachers in order to catch up to the rest of the world.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio