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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida ACT test takers up, scores down



Florida ACT scores dipped again this year, while the number of students taking the test again rose dramatically, according to a national report released this morning.

Among states, Florida ranks No. 26 in the percentage of graduating seniors taking the test -- considered by many to be a good measure of college readiness -- and No. 48 in average composite scores. Only Michigan and Mississippi rank lower. (Click here to download a state-by-state comparison PDF, or here to compare states' scores on an interactive national map.)

Florida's average scores fell from 19.9 to 19.8 this year, marking at least the fourth straight decline. The average was 20.5 in 2004. The national average also fell this year, from 21.2 to 21.1.

On the upside, Florida steered 12,000 more students into taking the test last year, a push for higher expectations that state officials believe will eventually translate into higher scores.

Since 2004, the number of Florida students taking the ACT has risen from 56,431 to 93,884, a 66 percent increase that is triple the growth rate nationally. Over that time, the percentage of black test-takers in Florida has grown 97 percent; the percentage of Hispanic test takers, 117 percent.

Florida has seen similar trends on the SAT. For more, also see this Associated Press report.

Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:53am]


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