The Nevada Department of Education is reporting that only 10 percent of state high school juniors are college ready, according to the most recent results of ACT testing, largely unchanged from the previous year.
Though nationwide ACT results will not be available for a month, it appears Nevada’s public school students rank worst in the nation with a composite score of 17.4 out of a possible 36. In recent years the national average has hovered around 21 points. A year ago, 28 percent of those who took the ACT nationally were deemed college ready.
The ACT sets benchmark scores in four educational categories — English, math, reading and science — above which students are deemed prepared for college work. Fully 60 percent of Nevada students failed to achieve benchmark scores in any category.
Nevada has required all students to take the ACT in the past two years. In 2014 when only 36 percent of state students took the test the composite score was slightly above the national average — presumably those were largely college bound students.
Only 14 states require all students to take the exam, but even among those Nevada comes up last when compared to the previous year’s percentage of students ready for college, according to data compiled by the Reno Gazette-Journal — ranging from 13 percent in Mississippi to 26 percent in Illinois.