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ACT Scores Show Steady Gains

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,   - Follow us on Twitter and Facebook   - Note: We do not have school or system data at this time.    August 18, 2010  -- Georgia’s ACT scores saw a slight increase in 2010 and a higher percentage of students demonstrated college and career readiness, according to the 2010 ACT report.   Forty-four (44) percent of Georgia’s 2010 graduating seniors took the ACT and had an average composite score of 20.7, up from 20.6 from last year. The national average composite score was 21.0, down from 21.1 in 2009. Georgia seniors were tied for 34th on the ACT, up from 40th in 2009 and 47th in 2005.   "Georgia continues to see a steady rise in ACT scores, even when the national average score declined," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I'm especially proud that the curriculum enhancements that Georgia has instituted are resulting in more of our students meeting the ACT standard of college and career readiness."   State School Superintendent Brad Bryant pointed out that when the scores are broken down by race, Georgia students are actually outscoring the nation across the board.  According to the 2010 ACT report:  - Georgia’s African American students had an average composite score of 17.4, higher than the national average of 16.9  - Georgia’s Hispanic students had an average composite score of 20.1, higher than the national average of 18.6  - Georgia’s Caucasian students had an average composite score of 22.9, higher than the national average of 22.3   “When you take a close look at the numbers, you can see that Georgia students are actually outperforming their peers from across the nation,” Superintendent Bryant said. “However, we will not be completely satisfied until we become the first state to eliminate the achievement gap altogether."   The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test designed to measure college readiness and preparation. The ACT includes four separate exams in English, reading, mathematics and science. There is also an optional writing portion. The exam is scored on a scale from 0 to 36.    College and Career Readiness   The report provides strong evidence that Georgia is making the right moves in education by setting higher standards and raising expectations.   According to the ACT, 21 percent of Georgia seniors demonstrated college-readiness in all four areas of the test, up from 19 percent last year. Nationally, 24 percent of ACT test-takers demonstrated college-readiness, up from 23 percent last year.   The percent of ACT-tested Georgia graduates who are ready for college coursework is also higher compared to five years ago in mathematics, reading, and science.   "These findings are very encouraging," said Superintendent Bryant. "They suggest more Georgia students are graduating from high school with the academic skills they will need to succeed in college and their chosen career."   The ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, which are based on the actual grades earned by students in college, define college and career readiness and report student performance results relative to that goal.    Common Core Standards   The ACT results come at a time when much national focus is being placed on adopting and implementing new college and career readiness standards in high school. The State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in July.   "Georgia has been ahead of the curve in the development of rigorous standards," said Superintendent Bryant. "The Common Core standards enhance the Georgia Performance Standards and will ensure that all of our students are taught a world-class curriculum that will prepare them for college or a career."   This fall, ACT will be issuing a report that examines the current status of college and career readiness in the U.S. based on the Common Core State Standards.    MORE INFORMATION   -  Georgia's ACT Report    -  National ACT Report    -  National Press Release