ACT Scores Plunge to Lowest Level in More than Three Decades: Report

By Chris Lange via FISM News

ACT test scores have plummeted to the lowest level in over three decades, according to new data.

The report published by American College Testing revealed that average scores among 2022 high school graduates fell to 19.8 out of 36, representing the lowest national average seen since 1991 and the first time within that period that the composite score dipped below 20. It also represents a decline from 2021, when the average test score was 20.3. 

“This cohort endured the effects of a global pandemic spanning across the three years of their education: sophomore, junior, and senior years,” the report states.

The data further shows that 42% of graduating seniors in 2022 failed to meet any subject benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science — key indicators of academic success among incoming college freshmen.

“The magnitude of the declines this year is particularly alarming, as we see rapidly growing numbers of seniors leaving high school without meeting the college-readiness benchmark in any of the subjects we measure,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said in a statement.

Conservatives have long blamed COVID-19 lockdowns and distance learning on a myriad of harmful effects on American children, including significant learning gaps that public schools, nearly three years hence, have failed to mitigate. Instead, the data shows that the learning deficit appears to be worsening.

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Laura Zorc, executive director of Building Education for Students Together, said the report underscores an urgent need for school choice.

“Retooling education to appease activists, shutting down schools, and trying to hide falling language arts and math proficiencies in K-12 education is failing our kids,” she said.

“Students graduating from high schools across the country today are less prepared for life, work, and even college. It is time for state education dollars to follow students, not systems, which would allow parents to remove their kids from failing government schools,” Zorc concluded.

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