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August 22, 2012 - oklahoma math scores reach all-time high

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Oklahoma high school seniors who took the ACT test reached an all-time high in their math scores, a new report shows.

Data released Wednesday by ACT indicates that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.1 in math on the ACT test, which is 0.2 point higher than last year’s score.

This compares to a national average of 21.1 in math, which remained unchanged from last year.

The report shows that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.7 on the ACT test, unchanged from the previous five years. The national average for 2012 graduates was 21.0, unchanged from 2011.

The total number of Oklahoma students taking the ACT was 29,342, a 4 percent increase from last year, and an all-time high for the state. The state’s scores in science and reading remained unchanged from last year’s scores of 20.6 and 21.3, respectively.

The state’s English score, 20.4, decreased by 0.1.

“We are pleased to see Oklahoma’s graduates achieving a record high in math on the ACT this year,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “That, along with the other scores, is encouraging and suggests that more Oklahoma students are graduating from high school with the academic skills they need to be successful. We must continue ensuring that our students graduate from high school prepared for college and able to compete in today’s global economy.”

Oklahoma’s three largest groups of minority students continue to perform above their national peers. The composite ACT for Native Americans in Oklahoma is 19.4 for 2011, which is one point higher than their national peers. African Americans scored 0.4 point higher than their national peers in 2011. Hispanic graduates outscored their national peers by 0.1 point.

The report also shows that Oklahoma’s high school seniors are thinking about their future college aspirations. According to the report, 22 percent plan to major in health sciences and technologies, while 19 percent are undecided on what they will major in. Eight percent plan on majoring in business in college. Seven percent plan to major in visual and performing arts.

The percent of Oklahoma graduates who are ready for college coursework is higher compared to five years ago in all four subject areas tested – English, mathematics, reading and science.

Although the state is making great strides by preparing students for higher education, many Oklahoma students fail to meet ACT’s benchmark scores that measure the number of graduates likely to be prepared for college-level work. Twenty percent of students met all four of ACT’s benchmark scores in English, college algebra, social science and biology. This is 5 percentage points below the national average.

However, much is being done to improve student academic preparation by requiring students to take a more rigorous curriculum in response to the Achieving Classroom Excellence initiative and the Oklahoma Educational Planning and Assessment System (OK EPAS) program.