Kansas above average on ACT

Kansas students' overall performance on this year's ACT college readiness exam topped the national average, but fewer students met readiness benchmarks in math and science, according to a report released Wednesday.

This year's average composite score was 22 for Kansas students — the same as last year and above the national average of 21.1 out of a possible 36.

The Wichita district's average composite score this year was 19.8, the same as last year. About 1,650 Wichita students took the test, compared with 1,634 in 2010.

Andover school officials said that district posted its highest ACT scores ever. The district's average composite score was 23.9, compared with 23.4 last year; 306 students took the test.

The Maize district's average composite score was 22.9, up from 22.5 last year; 380 students took the test.

The Goddard district's average composite score as 22.6, compared with 22.5 last year; 246 students took the test.

Seventy-nine percent of Kansas graduates took the ACT exam this year, up from 75 percent in 2010.

In addition to providing composite scores on the exam, ACT measures performance toward college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science. The benchmarks represent scores that would indicate a level of preparation needed to have at least a 50 percent chance of getting a B or above in entry-level college courses.

Seventy-three percent of Kansas students who took the ACT exam met the college readiness benchmark for English, down 1 percentage point from 2010.

The percentage of Kansas students meeting benchmarks in reading, math and science was unchanged from 2010, at 60 percent, 51 percent and 34 percent respectively.

But the percentage of Kansas graduates meeting the benchmarks in math and science fell below national averages.

In math, Kansas students fell 0.2 percentage points below the national benchmark of 22, and they were 2.1 percentage points below the science benchmark of 24.

"Clearly a greater focus on preparing students to be college and career ready will be needed to grow the percentage of students achieving those benchmarks," said Kansas education Commissioner Diane DeBacker in a written statement.

Kansas' English and reading scores remained above the national average. The average score in English was 21.4, well above the benchmark of 18. Kansas' average reading score was 22.3, above the readiness benchmark of 21.

More information about Kansas students' performance on the ACT exam, as well as details about statewide locations for the annual ACT College and Career Readiness Workshops, can be found at www.act.org.