Texas ACT scores for various student groups hit new highs

- REPRINT from TEA News Release

Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced that the 2013 composite score for all Texas students taking the ACT college admission test hit a new high of 20.9 according to a report released by ACT. In addition, the composite scores for Texas White, Hispanic/Latino and African-American students are at all-time highs - matching or exceeding national composite scores in each of those student groups. “Our state’s ongoing commitment to rigor in the classroom is clearly evident in these national results,” said Commissioner Williams.

“In the coming years, the challenge will be in maintaining this momentum which has provided a strong foundation of success for all students, while also offering all students greater flexibility to make course choices.” “The ACT data show that we continue to make steady progress in college and career readiness, validating our efforts to improve rigor in Texas public schools,” said Dr. Raymund Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education.

“As we begin implementation of HB 5 to provide additional flexibility in student coursework, it is imperative that education leaders work collaboratively to sustain a level of rigor that prepares students for the workplace and college.”

For the Class of 2013, the number of ACT test takers in Texas totaled 109,841. ACT tests are administered for a number of subject areas including English, math, reading, science and writing (optional). Texas scores in all those areas (excluding the optional writing test) increased in 2013:

• English - 19.8 (compared to 19.6 in 2012)
• Reading - 21.0 (compared to 20.8 in 2012)
• Science - 20.9 (compared to 20.8 in 2012)
• Math - 21.5 (compared to 21.4 in 2012)

Williams specifically noted an increase in the math scores for Texas students while national ACT scores in math dropped to 20.9 (a decrease of .2). The ACT report also showed that 48 percent of Texas students were identified as being ready for College Algebra compared to 44 percent of nationally-tested students. “We’ve seen that an emphasis on an important core subject such as math can put Texas students in position to succeed,” said Commissioner Williams. “Math should continue to be a focus in our classrooms if we expect Texas students to keep excelling and surpassing students in other states.”

Other highlights of the Texas ACT results for the Class of 2013 include:

• From 2012 to 2013, the Texas ACT composite score increased .1 to 20.9, an all-time high that equals the national composite score, which dropped by .2 during the same period.
• The number of test takers decreased slightly, from a record-high in 2012 of 110,180 to 109,841 in 2013.
• The 41,877 Texas Hispanic/Latino students reported in the Class of 2013 represents 38 percent of the total tested population. Nationally, Hispanic/Latino students represent 14 percent of the ACT-tested population.
• The 41,877 Texas Hispanic/Latino students reported in the Class of 2013 represents an increase in participation that is greater than 85 percent over the last five years.
• The 2013 composite score for Hispanic/Latino students in Texas is at an all-time high of 18.8, equal to their national counterparts.
• The 2013 composite score for African- American students in Texas is at an all-time high of 17.6, which is .7 higher than their national counterparts (16.9).
• The 2013 composite score for white students in Texas is at an all-time high of 23.3, which is 1.1 higher than their national counterparts (22.2).Twenty percent of students (22,148) plan on careers in health sciences and technologies, while business and engineering careers are tied for second at 11 percent. Fourteen percent were undecided.

The top 10 Texas universities, in descending order, receiving scores from Texas ACT test-takers were: Texas A&M University; University of Texas at Austin; Texas Tech University; Texas State University; Baylor University; University of Texas at San Antonio; University of Texas - Pan American; University of North Texas; University of Houston; and Sam Houston State University.

The entire ACT report - complete with national and state-by-state results - can be viewed at www.act.org/readiness/2013.


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