Kansas City, Kan. Kansas students fell slightly on this year’s ACT college entrance exam compared with 2008, with small drops in reading, math and English. But the state’s overall average score marked the fifth straight year Kansas students topped the national average.
This year’s average composite score was 21.9, compared with 22 in 2008. The national average was 21.1 in 2009.
Some 26 percent of Kansas test-takers met the college-readiness benchmark in all four subjects: English, math, reading and science. That’s 3 percentage points higher than the national average.
Reading proved to be Kansas’ best subject on the test with a score of 22.4, one point higher than the national average. Science was next with 21.8, compared with the 20.9 national average. The state’s average scores in math and English were 21.7 and 21.4, compared with the national scores of 21 and 20.6, respectively.
The Kansas scores for reading, math and English represented drops from 2008, while the average score in science remained the same.
Kansas Education Commissioner Alexa Posny said she was impressed with the scores, saying the state’s high schools “have placed tremendous focus on the rigor of academic content.”
Almost 75 percent of Kansas graduates took the test compared with 45 percent nationally, a disparity that Posny said would tend to make Kansas’ scores lower than the national average. She said the state bucked the trend because it scored higher than the nationwide average.
Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Wyoming all require high school juniors to take the ACT. Posny said she supports a similar requirement in Kansas, but cost is a major issue.
Posny estimates a mandatory ACT test would cost the state about $1.7 million a year.