Montana Students Continue to Score Higher than the National Average on ACT Exams

Thursday, August 18, 2011
By Allyson Hagen

Montana Students Continue to Score Higher than the National Average on ACT Exams

HELENA - Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau reported today that Montana students continue to best the national average when it comes to ACT scores.  Montana's 2011 graduating class earned an average composite score of 22.1 compared to the national composite score of 21.1.  The percent of ACT-tested Montana graduates who are ready for college coursework in mathematics, reading, and science is higher compared to five years ago.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said, "Public education in Montana is doing very well as demonstrated by our outcomes, including the ACT.  These scores are a result of the hard work of our educators and our students." 

Among Montana’s ACT-tested 2011 high school graduates, 29 percent met or surpassed all four of ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks (English, math, reading, and science). This figure is up from 28 percent last year and from 26 percent the three previous years.

Among Montana’s 2011 high school graduates, 60%—a total of 6,037 students—took the ACT. Those students continue to perform above the national average in all four subject areas. Last year, 58% of Montana's graduates took the ACT.

Juneau continued, "These results suggest more Montana students are graduating from high school with the academic skills they will need to succeed in college and workforce training programs. We need to continue this trend and keep challenging our students to achieve at high levels and prepare them for college and careers."

During the 2011 Legislative Session, Superintendent Juneau proposed allowing all high school juniors to take the ACT test by removing the testing fees students have to pay to participate.

Juneau has also recommended the Board of Public Education adopt the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math. These standards are higher and clearer than our current standards and aligned with college and career expectations.

The full report on the condition of college and career readiness in Montana for the class of 2011 can be viewed here:


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