Oklahoma Testing Results Show Increase in College, Career Readiness

More Oklahoma graduating seniors are prepared for college and careers than in previous years based on ACT results released this month.

According to ACT's 2013 Condition of College and Career Readiness report, the percentage of Oklahoma's 2013 graduates who met all four benchmarks in English, reading science and math rose to 23 percent. That's 20 percent more than the previous two years and up from 17 percent in 2008.

"I'm bolstered by these results," State Superintendent Janet Barresi stated. "This shows that our education reform efforts in Oklahoma are paying dividends in student performance.

In a report by the Broken Arrow Ledger, Tulsa's Channel 8's community newspaper partner, Barresi added that while she is pleased with the bright spots in the state highlighted in the report, she is not satisfied.

"There is still much work to be done," she said.

A total of 28,988 students took the ACT this year; 75 percent of Oklahoma's 2013 graduating class took the test at least once.

Oklahoma's ACT 2013 composite score rose .1 to 20.8 over the 2012 score of 20.7, while the national composite declined from 21.1 to 20.9.

And in Oklahoma, 23 percent of ACT-takers last year met all four benchmarks. Fourteen percent of students met three benchmarks, 17 percent met two, 18 percent met one and 29 percent met no benchmarks, according to the report.

Nationally, 26 percent of students met all four benchmarks. Oklahoma students, however, exceeded the national average for meeting the English benchmark -- 66 percent versus 64 percent; 45 percent of Oklahoma ACT-takers met the reading benchmark, slightly above 44 percent nationally. At the same time, reading scores were up from 21 to 22 for state test-takers.

The State Department of Education also has partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative to increase the number of Advanced Placement courses available and the number of students participating in AP courses in science, math and English in selected high schools throughout the state.

Barresi said she's confident these offerings will boost performance in all subject areas in the coming years.

For more statistics and information on this year's results, head over to the Broken Arrow Ledger's website.