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Juneau Reports Montana Students Continue to Score Higher than the National Average on ACT Exams

August 18, 2010View for printing

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau reported today that Montana students continue to best the national average when it comes to ACT scores. Montana's 2010 graduating class earned an average composite score of 22 compared to the national composite score of 21. The percent of ACT-tested Montana graduates who are ready for college coursework in mathematics, reading, and science is higher compared to five years ago.

“These findings are encouraging,” said Juneau. “They suggest more Montana students are graduating from high school with the academic skills they will need to succeed in college and workforce training programs.”

Among Montana’s ACT-tested 2010 high school graduates, 28 % met or surpassed all four of ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks (English, math, reading, and science). That figure is up slightly from 26 % the past four years, suggesting ACT-tested students in the state may be making slight progress in overall college readiness.

Among Montana’s 2010 high school graduates, 58 %—a total of 6,222 students—took the ACT. Those students continue to perform above the national average in all four subject areas.

“In recent years, the University System has worked with the Office of Public Instruction and hundreds of high school teachers to improve college readiness, resulting in a decline in remediation rates in college composition of 26% between 2005 and 2009,” said Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Sterns. “Currently, the Office of Public Instruction and our universities working jointly on the Montana Math and Science Teacher Initiative to focus on better teacher preparation and professional development in those key subjects.”

As Montana policy-makers meet during the Legislative session and consider new ideas for improving the career and college readiness of Montana high school students, Juneau’s office will propose allowing all high school juniors to take the ACT test by removing the testing fees students have to pay to participate.

The full report on the condition of college and career readiness in Montana for the class of 2010 can be viewed only here: ... ontana.pdf?
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