Maui News

Hawai‘i Among Top 20 States for Graduates Taking ACT

September 7, 2017, 11:24 AM HST
* Updated September 7, 11:26 AM
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Hawaiʻi’s public school students have continued to see steady growth in meeting college readiness benchmarks in Reading and Science according to a new report released today by the ACT.

ACT.

The research based non-profit organization reports a 2% improvement in science and reading; and a 3% decrease in Math over the same one year period for Hawaiʻi students.  English scores were unchanged.

This was the 4th year that Hawaiʻi’s 11th graders were required to take the ACT, which landed Hawaiʻi in the top 20 states for the percentage of graduates taking the college prep test.

“The growth that Hawaiʻi graduates have shown in college readiness since the state began administering the ACT to all students in 2013 has been remarkable. Steady gains in states are not unusual, but we rarely see this type of improvement over such a short period of time,” said Paul Weeks, ACT senior vice president for client relations.

Hawaii’s public school students continue to show improvements in performance since the test became part of the curriculum four years ago, according to the Condition of College & Career Readiness 2017 report. The 0.7 point composite score increase (36 point scale) outpaced the national average, which remained flat during the same time period.

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In each of the four subjects, ACT sets a college-readiness benchmark – the minimum score needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or about a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding credit-bearing college course. The benchmarks are set based on national-level data. Similar to the composite scores, Hawaiʻi’s percentage increases in meeting college readiness benchmarks outpaced the national increases.

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“The results from the ACT provides valuable insight and highlights areas we should focus our efforts and resources in order to help our students compete with their peers on a national level,” added Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We will continue to work towards improving our testing portfolio to align with our ESSA and Strategic plans, and will rely on our students to continue to tell us what we can do to help them achieve their college and career goals.”

HIDOE supports high schools that administer the ACT by providing funding and support. The department views it as part of the college and career readiness process.

The ACT results provide students information about their readiness or postsecondary education, a score they can use for college admissions and placement, and information about how to better prepare for postsecondary education during their senior years. It is one of only two readiness examinations used for U.S. college and university admissions and was taken by approximately 2 million 2017 graduates nationwide, and 10,051 Hawai’i public high school students.

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