Aug 20, 2014 10:09 AM by KATC
The state Department of Education reports today that three analyses of ACT test results show a record number of high school seniors achieving TOPS-eligible scores.
Research from Columbia University indicates that many students who otherwise had not planned to take the ACT, especially those from low-income backgrounds, score unexpectedly well when given access to the test.
Since Louisiana began requiring all public high school students to take the ACT series in 2013, the state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of seniors earning qualifying scores for TOPS Tech (17+), TOPS Opportunity (20+), and TOPS Honors (27+), boosting both students on the TOPS University pathway and the Jump Start TOPS Tech pathway.
The number of seniors earning a TOPS-qualifying score (based on their best score) of at least 17 increased by 1,732 since 2013 and by 6,339 since 2012.
"In providing all students access to these opportunities, we stopped cherry-picking students to take the ACT," state Superintendent John White said in a prepared statement. "At the same time, our students' readiness for the challenges of universities and community colleges is not at the level it needs to be, especially in mathematics. Our state needs to keep raising its expectations if we expect to compete."