FairTest News Release: Stagnant ACT Scores show Failure of Test Driven Policies

for further information:                                                                  
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773
Cell  (239) 699-0468
 

for use with annual ACT scores on or after Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 

Stagnant ACT Scores Show Test-Driven U.S. School Policies
Have Not Improved College Readiness,
Even When Measured By Other Tests

     Another year of flat scores on the ACT, the nation’s most widely administered college admissions exam, provides further evidence that a decade of test-driven public school policies has not improved educational quality.  

     Reacting to ACT scores released today, Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) said, “Proponents of 'No Child Left Behind,' 'Race to the Top,' ‘waivers,’ and similar state-level programs promised that focusing on testing would boost college readiness while narrowing score gaps between racial groups. The data show a total failure according to their own measures. Doubling down on unsuccessful policies with more high-stakes, K-12 testing, as Common Core exam proponents propose, is an exercise in stubbornness, not meaningful school improvement.” (see http://fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet)   

     Stagnant scores and racial gaps have also been reported on the federal government’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the SAT college admissions test.

     Schaeffer continued, “The lack of progress toward excellence and equity will provide further ammunition for the country’s growing testing resistance and reform movement. Ending the counter-productive fixation on standardized exams is necessary to create the space for better assessments that actually enhance learning and teaching.”  FairTest actively supported this past spring’s opt-out campaigns and other protests that focused attention on testing overuse and misuse.

     FairTest is also a national leader for test-optional higher education admissions. More than 830 accredited, bachelor-degree granting colleges and universities now do not require all or many applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores (see http://fairtest.org/university/optional). Eight more schools – Wesleyan University, Old Dominion University, Hofstra University, Temple University, Montclair State University, Beloit College, Bryn Mawr College and Emmanuel College -- dropped test-score requirements already this summer. In addition, Hampshire College, which long was test-optional, is now "test-blind."

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COMPOSITE  SCORE FIVE-YEAR SCORE TREND ALL TEST-TAKERS 
2014 COLLEGE-BOUND SENIORS AVERAGE ACT SCORES
    (2010 – 2014)      
        21.0         0.0  
African-American   17.0   + 0.1  
American Indian   18.0   -  1.0  
Asian    23.5   + 0.1  
Hispanic   18.8   + 0.2  
White   22.3      0.0  
           
Female     20.9     0.0  
Male   21.1   - 0.1  
           
Source:  ACT, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014