With the ACT annual report, Condition of College and Career Readiness release on Wednesday, it was found that a higher percentage of 2018 high school US graduates are not college ready, with math readiness at a 14-year low.
The report states that only 40% of 2018 graduates taking the ACT met the benchmark, indicating they could succeed in a first-year college algebra class. The percentage has come down from 41% last year and the highest of 46% in 2012.
The overall percentage in the college readiness (in English, Math, Reading, and Science) also has slightly decreased from the previous year.
ACT Chief Executive, Marten Roorda shared her concern, “Math specifically concerns me in a society that’s becoming more and more technological. The economy needs more students with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, and good math skills are vital to STEM orientation. There is a high risk for the U.S. economy coming to a slowdown or a standstill.”
Roorda also says that the math curriculum needs to be modernized and more time needs to be spent on the subject.
The report shows the results of 1.9 million students who took the ACT which is just half of the 2018 graduating class. The number has slightly gone down from the previous year, where 60% of graduating class had taken the ACT. The main reason for the decrease is due to the changes in statewide testing, said the ACT officials.
35% of graduates were not able to meet any of the ACT benchmark, which determines the college readiness. The number has increased from 33% since last year.
Refer to WSJ Report for an expanded version.