JEFFERSON CITY - Many Missouri students are failing to meet college-ready standards according to the most recent ACT test score reports.
Similar to last year nearly 3/4 of Missouri students in this graduating class which took the ACT test did not meet what the testing organization calls "college readiness benchmarks" in all four subjects the exam evaluates. These benchmarks are specific scores a student must receive to signify they have a 75 percent chance of getting a C grade or higher in the corresponding college course.
Parkway School District Communications Coordinator Cathy Kelly said since the district began paying for all juniors to take the test a few years ago, their average scores have dropped.
"We knew when we were doing it we were taking a risk, we knew our average ACT composite score would go down, but we feel like all kids should take the test," Kelly said.
Kelly said offering the test to everyone allows some kids who may have never even thought of taking the test to see how they did.
"Probably many have been surprised in realizing they did really well on the test and maybe made them sort of rethink what they were doing in the future," Kelly said.
Rockwood School District also pays for the students tests, and their averages have dropped since doing so as well.
Ten states across the nation require all students in the graduating class to take the ACT. All states with this rule in place have lower average composite ACT scores than the national average.
Missouri students scored a 21.6 on average and 74 percent of the graduating class took the exam. This is compared to the 20.9 national average of the 54 percent of students who took the exam.
Missouri test takers this year scored the best on the English portion, where 72 percent of Missouri students hit that college-readiness benchmark. Missouri students did significantly better than across the Unites States, as only 64 percent of those students met that subject's benchmark.