Charted: ACT scores in Iowa decline
Iowa ACT scores have dropped to their lowest level in nearly a decade.
By the numbers: Iowa seniors had an average composite ACT score of 20.8 in 2023. That's down from 22 in 2014.
- Nationally, the average composite ACT score among 2023 graduating seniors was 19.5, slightly lower than in Iowa.
- Participation is also down — 68% in 2014 to just 48% in 2023.
What they're saying: "The hard truth is that we are not doing enough to ensure that graduates are truly ready for postsecondary success in college and career," said Janet Godwin, chief executive officer for the nonprofit ACT, told Axios.
The other side: ACT scores don't hold the same weight they previously did, Coy Marquardt with the Iowa State Education Association, told WOI-TV.
- They're a "small measure" of student learning and students from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have the same access to the tests, Marquardt said.
Zoom in: In 2022, Iowa's public universities stopped requiring ACT scores for admission as part of a larger movement that started in 2020.
- Students in the class of 2023 were in their first year of high school when the virus reached the U.S.
The big picture: Nationwide, the class of 2023 had the worst ACT performance in more than three decades.
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