The state’s annual report card on schools says most Illinois students continue to score below the national average on the ACT. More than 54 percent of 2015 public high school graduates in Illinois scored below the national average of 21 on the test, a figure the state considers benchmark for college readiness.
State school superintendent Tony Smith points to a different measure which improved in 2015, looking at student’s scores in the ACT’s four subject areas of English, math, reading, and science.
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“We’ve had an increase, which is a positive, right? We’ve had the percent of students who have met benchmarks in the four subjects has gone up,” Smith said.
Less than 25 percent of students scored high enough in each subject to be considered ready for college classes in all those areas. Smith says there’s “still work to do” to make sure grads are prepared for college.
The report also noted the continuing change in demographics in Illinois schools, with Smith saying more than half of the state’s students are ethnicities other than white. Teacher demographics don’t match that diversity, as more than 82 percent of the nearly 130,000 teachers counted in the report are white.