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Oregon a class ACT

Oregon 2012 high school graduates outperformed the rest of the nation in three of four ACT test subjects, according to the ACT national and state Condition of College & Career Readiness reports released this week.

ACT defines college and career readiness as having the knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in first-year higher education courses without additional teaching.

“We’re seeing more Oregon students who take the ACT meeting our college readiness benchmarks,” said Ed Colby of ACT Public Relations. “The increase is highest in science, which is one of the weaker areas in the state and nationally.”

  • 35 percent of Oregon test takers met benchmarks in science compared to 31 percent nationally, and up six percent from 2008.
  • 55 percent of ACT-tested Oregon high school graduates met college readiness benchmarks in reading compared to 52 percent nationally.
  • 49 percent of Oregon test takers met benchmarks in mathematics compared to 46 percent nationally.
  • 66 percent of Oregon test takers met benchmarks in English compared to 67 percent nationally.
  • 29 percent of ACT-tested Oregon high school graduates met college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects compared to 25 percent nationally.
  • “We’re seeing encouraging growth tempered by the fact that we’re still not where we need to be,” Colby said. “I’d say Oregon reflects what we’re seeing nationally.”

    A total of 60 percent of all ACT test takers in the nation met no more than two benchmarks.

    In Oregon, 12,462 graduates or 38 percent of the state’s graduating class took the ACT, with an average composite score of 21.4. Of all high school graduates in the nation, 52 percent took the ACT. The national average composite score was 21.1.

    From 2008 to 2012, the number of ACT test-taking graduates increased by 8 percent in ACT’s college readiness benchmarks are based on actual grades earned in college by ACT-tested students.

    ACT has been measuring the academic achievement of 11th- and 12th-grade students since 1959, their career aspirations since 1969, their academic preparation in high school since 1985 and student readiness and success for two decades.

    “We would hope ... on an individual basis, educators can look at a student’s ACT score information and help guide students toward improving in areas of weakness...and see how they’re performing in those subject areas that might be important for the type of job or career they might like to pursue, or just college entrance in general,” Colby said. “Hopefully they can help those students plan a little better the courses that they need to take in school to prepare themselves to meet their plans.”