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District of Columbia ACT Standardized Test Results Released

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

District of Columbia ACT Standardized Test Results Released

Composite Scores, Participation Reach Five-Year High, Indicate Improvements Needed

WASHINGTON, DC – District of Columbia 12th Grade Students demonstrated improvements from the previous year in ACT English, Reading, Mathematics and Science benchmarks in 2012, according to Condition of College & Career Readiness, an annual report released today by ACT to provide a snapshot of the college and career readiness of ACT-tested high school seniors. Results are statewide, represent both District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and District Public Charter Schools (PCS) and are designed to represent the level of knowledge and skills needed to enroll and pass with a ‘C’ or higher in credit-bearing, first-year courses at a postsecondary institution

“ACT scores and participation are at a five-year high for District students, which is something we can build upon,” said State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley, adding that over 80 percent of 2012 Public School D.C. 12th graders also reported taking courses considered by ACT to be college-preparatory.

“While the overall outcomes show where we still must improve, this year’s results allow us to better assess what is needed for District schools to create a college-going culture.”

Despite the rise in composite scores and participation, the District of Columbia still scored lower than national averages in all ACT content-area benchmarks, with only five percent of public high school seniors meeting all 4 benchmarks. 

Percent of District of Columbia ACT Test Participants Ready for College-Level Coursework

ACT Benchmark Content Area

2011 D.C. Public School %

2011 U.S. National %

2012 D.C. Public School %

2012 U.S. National %

English

27%

66%

28%

67%

Reading

19%

52%

20%

52%

Mathematics

12%

45%

13%

46%

Science

5%

30%

7%

31%

Met All 4 Benchmarks

5%

25%

5%

25%

 2011 D.C. Composite Score Average: 16.1

2011 U.S. Composite Score Average: 21.1

 2012 D.C. Composite Score Average: 16.2

2012 U.S. Composite Score Average: 21.1

Mahaley cited the District of Columbia’s status as a governing state of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), ongoing efforts under Race to the Top and  recently-approved ‘No Child Left Behind’ flexibility waiver as examples of solutions underway to raise the level of student ACT achievement.

Remarked Mahaley: “We will meet students where they are, so our goal is that standardized measures such as the ACT serve as supplemental tools to not only outline what students need to know to be college and career ready, but also to better identify areas that need improvement, directly from the students for which the instruction is intended.”

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