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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #11-56
August 17, 2011
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Issues
Statement on Latest ACT Scores

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today issued the following statement after the release by ACT of its annual report The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2011:

"While we've made some progress over the last few years, today's ACT report provides more evidence that California has some work to do to make sure every student graduates with the skills to succeed in college and the workplace. That's why our Blueprint for Great Schools focuses on 21st century learning, so that success in the classroom will translate into success in our knowledge-based economy.

"The results also further demonstrate the achievement gap that we've seen in other measures of student performance—including the state's STAR test results and in high school graduation rates."

According to the ACT:

  • 30 percent of California's ACT-tested 2011 high school graduates met or surpassed all four of ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks (English, math, reading, and science). This figure is down slightly from 31 percent last year but up from the three previous years. The number of California students taking the ACT has grown steadily over the past several years (from 15 percent of grads in 2007 to 24 percent of graduates in 2011).
  • California college-readiness levels are significantly higher overall than the national averages and in all four subject areas. Even though the 24 percent of the state's graduates who took the ACT may not be representative of the entire California 2011 graduation class, these findings are encouraging.
  • Nearly a fourth (23 percent) of California's ACT-tested graduates met none of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.
  • Results from ACT's eighth and tenth grade assessment programs, EXPLORE and PLAN, show improvement in California's college readiness pipeline between those grades and high school graduation. The proportion of California students who met all four College Readiness Benchmarks improved from only 8 percent in grade eight (EXPLORE) to 25 percent in grade ten (PLAN) to 30 percent on the ACT. EXPLORE and PLAN results are used to help guide improvement efforts.

For more information on ACT and California's statistics, please contact ACT's Ed Colby or Scott Gomer at 319-337-1028 or visit ACT's Web site at 2011 ACT National and State Scores | 2011 Condition of College and Career Readiness | ACT [www.act.org/readiness/2011] External link opens in new window or tab.. California's disaggregated data by school will not be available for several months. For more information on A Blueprint for Great Schools, please visit the California Department of Education Web site at A Blueprint For Great Schools Report - A Blueprint For Great Schools.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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