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Participation Up, Scores Down on ACT among Oklahoma Students

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New ACT numbers show participation is up and scores are down on the college readiness test in Oklahoma.

The percentage of graduates meeting English, reading, math and science benchmarks fell from 22 to 21 percent, and the average composite score dropped from 20.7 to 20.4. Steffie Corcoran with the Oklahoma State Department of Education said that’s probably because participation increased by about 15,000 students.

"As we see a testing population that more precisely reflects public school enrollment, we are probably going to see numbers flatten out or decrease slightly until they start to tick back up again once instruction catches up, so to speak," Corcoran said.

In all, 82 percent of graduating Oklahoma high school seniors took the ACT last year.

While the average composite score in Oklahoma was below the national average ACT score of 20.8, reading scores were equal.

"We put lots of effort into reading in Oklahoma for some time, and reading is a subject matter area that has received a lot of federal emphasis as well over the last decade or so, probably even longer than that," Corcoran said.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister has pushed the ACT, even starting a program so high school juniors can take it for free.

"It helps teachers understand where those students still need perhaps a little bit of extra help. It might inform course selections in college," Corcoran said.