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Ohio’s ACT test scores above US average
By Megan Henry
(September 7, 2017) — Ohio is just slightly above the national average when it comes to ACT test scores of the 2017 graduating high school class.
The Buckeye State, with an average composite score of 22, edged the national average composite score by one full point, according to the ACT’s annual score report, released Thursday. ACT scores are ranked on a 1 to 36 scale.
After several years of legislative tweaks designed to address the large percentage of Ohio college freshman who need remedial work, this year’s report found that 33 percent of Ohio high school graduates met all four ACT College Readiness
Benchmarks, putting the state at about the middle of the pack nationwide. A quarter of high school graduates, however, met none of the benchmarks.
Since state officials had not seen the full report, their reaction was muted.
“We like being above the national average,” said Jeff Robinson, communications director for the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
This is the fourth year in a row Ohio has had an average composite score of 22.
“They’re staying steady,” said Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, chairman of the House Education Committee.
The national average score, 21, is up from last year’s 20.8. Ohio’s score ranks 15th nationally. New Hampshire leads the nation with a score of 25.5, but only 18 percent of the state’s graduates were tested. On the flip side, Nevada had the lowest average score with 17.8, but 100 percent of its graduates took the test.
More than 2 million students, 60 percent of the graduating class of 2017, took the test. In Ohio, 75 percent of students from the graduating class took the ACT.
Nationally, the average English score was 20.3, the average math score was 20.7, the average reading score was 21.4 and the average science score was 21. Ohio’s average scores were higher than the national figures: 21.2 for English, 21.6 for math, 22.5 for reading and 22 for science.
“Starting with the class of 2018, Ohio began providing a college readiness assessment once at no cost to all juniors, increasing access and cutting the cost for Ohio’s students,” Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said in a statement.
Nearly half of ACT-tested 2017 high school graduates are underserved students, meaning they would be the first generation in their family to go to college, come from low-income families or self-identify their race or ethnicity as minority. Nine
percent of ACT-tested graduates with all three underserved characteristics exemplified strong readiness for college coursework, but slightly more than 50 percent of 2017 high school graduates who were not underserved showed strong readiness for college.
“While it’s no surprise that underserved students fall behind their peers due to the inequities that exist, it is extremely alarming and concerning to see how large this achievement gap really is,” ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda said in a statement.