Education
5:00 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Wash. students inch upward in college readiness scores

Washington students did a bit better last year on one of the major standardized tests measuring college readiness. Just about one in five Washington seniors takes the ACT – the SAT”s slightly less famous cousin – but that group saw modest gains over the previous four years.  Thirty-eight percent of test-takers met the college readiness standard in all four subjects tested: English, reading, math and science, up from 34 percent year before.

Robin Munson, assistant superintendent of assessment and student information at the state Office of Superintendant of Public Instruction, said the gains are consistent with the slow, steady improvement on other tests and measures.

“Our high school students have continued to improve, as our graduation rates have continued to improve and our dropout rates have continued to decline,” Munson said.

Washington’s scores have been trending up slightly over the last five years, even as the test-taking population has gotten larger and more diverse. But it’s still a relatively small and self-selecting group. 

So even though Washington ranks in the top 10 states on ACT scores, that comparison might not mean much. Students who take the test here are generally college-bound crowd, with an interest in out-of-state schools that require the ACT. Some other states, such as Illinois and Colorado, require all their graduating seniors to take the ACT. Many more students in Washington take the SATs. On that test in 2011, Washington ranked 25th.