College and Career Readiness on the Rise, But Still Short

The percentage of high school graduates that meet college- and career readiness benchmarks is slowly climbing, according to a recent ACT report.

About 24 percent of all 2010 ACT-test takers met all four benchmarks in English, reading, science and math, and 47 percent met between 1 and 3 standards in the 4 subject areas. This year’s increase is one percentage point greater than last year’s, which counts to the total of three percentage points over the last five year, according to the Condition of College and Career Readiness 2010.

However, while the trajectory is encouraging, the percentage of students who do not demonstrate college and career readiness remains significant. Among 2010 ACT-tested graduates, a combined total of 43 percent met either none (28 percent) or only one (15 percent) of ACT’s benchmarks. Further, readiness gaps remain wide across racial groups. The readiness rates underscore the nation’s struggle to prepare all students to succeed in college and career.

About 1.6 million students—about 47 percent of the nation’s 2010 high school graduates–took the ACT. As the number of and diversity of students increase, the nation will gain a better understanding of how much more work needs to be done to prepare students to succeed when they leave high school.


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