Kansas students taking the ACT test in 2017 produced slightly lower scores than the previous year, and scores have remained relatively unchanged for many years. The average score for all students was 21.7 on a scale of zero to 36; that’s down from 21.9 last year and the same as in 2005. Average scores for the primary demographic breakouts are: White 22.6 (down from last year but higher than 22.1 in 2005), Hispanic 19.2 (same as last year and up from 19.1 in 2005) and African American 17.5 (down from 17.6 last year but up from 17.4 in 2005).
The education lobby attributes the 2017 score decline to a lack of funding, although historical data shows there is no correlation (let alone causation) between changes in spending and scores.
The widening achievement gap for minority students is especially apparent on ACT’s measurement of College Readiness in English, Reading, Math and Science. The percentage of White students considered college-ready in all four subjects went from 28 percent in 2005 to 35 percent this year; Hispanic students moved from 10 percent to 14 percent and African American students at still at 6 percent as they were in 2005.
ACT defines college-ready as having a 50 percent likelihood of getting a ‘B’ on an entry-level course or a 75 percent likelihood of getting a ‘C’.