Average college admissions test scores for graduating high schoolers in 2022 hit their lowest mark since 1991, according to a new report from ACT.
Add this to the pile of evidence showing how American students were negatively impacted by pandemic disruptions.
The average score for the 1.3 million students in the graduating class of 2022 who took the ACT was 19.8, down from last year’s score of 20.3.
Perhaps even more troubling, 42% of ACT test-takers failed to meet any of the benchmarks in English, reading, science and math – the subjects used to gauge how prepared students are for college.
- In 2021, 38% of students failed to meet the benchmarks.
- While ACT scores have been declining in recent years, the phenomenon has accelerated, according to ACT CEO Janet Godwin, who told NPR, “the magnitude of the declines this year is particularly alarming.”
- “We see rapidly growing numbers of seniors leaving high school without meeting college-readiness benchmarks in any of the subjects we measure,” she added.
2022 scores for the SAT, another standardized test commonly used in college admissions, have not yet been released.
Research has shown pandemic-related school shutdowns and remote learning have had a devastating effect on American students.
- An exhaustive analysis released in May by a team of researchers at the American Institutes for Research, Dartmouth College, Harvard University and the educational-assessment nonprofit NWEA calculated the impact of remote and hybrid instruction on student learning.
- “Growth in student achievement slowed to the point that, even in low-poverty schools, students in fall 2021 had fallen well behind what pre-pandemic patterns would have predicted; in effect, students at low-poverty schools that stayed remote had lost the equivalent of 13 weeks of in-person instruction. At high-poverty schools that stayed remote, students lost the equivalent of 22 weeks,” Thomas Kane, one of the researchers, wrote in an essay for The Atlantic summarizing his team’s findings.
- The Biden administration has acknowledged the crisis, and on Tuesday announced the launch of a program to recruit 250,000 mentors and tutors to deal with the wave of students who have fallen behind.