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Susanne Smith, 503-947-5637

August 18, 2010

Oregon Students Make Slight Gains on ACT College Entrance Exam

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that performance was up slightly for Oregon high school students who took the college entrance test administered by the American College Testing Program (ACT).

The state’s average ACT score increased slightly from 21.4 in 2009 to 21.5 for the class of 2010. The national average ACT composite score this year was 21.0, down from 21.1 in 2009. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. 11,579 students in the Oregon graduating class of 2010 took the ACT, a 1% increase from last year and the highest total ever. This represents 34% of the state’s 2010 graduating class compared to 33% in 2009.

“Oregon’s ACT scores again demonstrate the importance of taking challenging courses in preparing for success after high school,” Superintendent Susan Castillo said. “Students who took four years of English and three years each of math, science, and social studies outscored those students who did not. Taking a strong core curriculum means students are better prepared for work and college. The ACT results reinforce the importance of the Oregon diploma requirements, which demand four years of English and three years of high-level math and science for all high school students. Every student needs to take a rigorous course of study in order to be prepared for work, college and life in the 21st century,” Castillo said.

The ACT is composed of four exams: English, reading, mathematics and science. The percentages of Oregon high school graduates who met or exceeded ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks (defined as “ready for college-level coursework”) are listed here:

• 66% were ready for college-level English (66% nationally)
• 48% were ready in math (43% nationally)
• 57% were ready in reading (52% nationally)
• 33 % were ready in science (29% nationally)
• 27% of tested graduates met the College Readiness Benchmarks in all four subject areas (24% nationally)

To view the national and Oregon reports, visit: www.act.org

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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