October 10, 2014

Are Oklahoma Students College Ready?

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Test scores released for the SAT test this week would appear to show a majority of high school seniors are ready for college, but the test is an incomplete measure.

According to the 2014 SAT scores, 69 percent of students met the college-ready benchmark. The problem is that only 4.5 percent of graduating seniors, or 1,725 students, took the exam.

The ACT remains the test of choice in Oklahoma, with 28,682 students, or three-fourths of graduating seniors, taking the exam this year.

This year’s ACT results paint the opposite picture on college readiness, showing only 22 percent of students meet benchmarks for English, reading, science and math.

Officials from the state Department of Education, SAT and ACT have all said that when more students participate in a test, there will generally be lower results. This is because the results better portray academic levels of the entire student population instead of just the high-achieving students.

Oklahoma City Public Schools, the state’s largest district, is offering the PSAT for free in an attempt to get more students thinking about taking Advanced Placement  courses or attending college.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi also has said that about 40 percent of graduates have to take remedial classes once they attend college, which indicates a need to put more effort into ensuring students are prepared for college-level courses or the workforce.

Barresi used this week’s results to push for more students to consider taking AP courses.

“AP test scores are not simply a measure of a student’s abilities but a platform to propel students to a variety of opportunities after high school,” she said.

Nate Robson can be reached at nrobson@oklahomawatch.org


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