Posted September 05, 2018 06:22:47In 2016, the National Center for Education Statistics released the most comprehensive data to date on the educational performance of students in the United States.
The report showed that in the past decade, the percentage of students achieving the ACT composite score (or average of seven standardized tests) in every state and the District of Columbia has increased from less than 3 percent to nearly 9 percent.
And it wasn’t just states where the percentage was increasing.
The national average rose from about 6.5 percent in 2016 to 9.7 percent in 2020.
At the same time, states with the highest number of high-achieving students had higher graduation rates.
For example, California, which has one of the most diverse populations of students and has the highest percentage of college graduates, had the highest proportion of high school graduates with college degrees in the country from 2015 to 2020.
And, like many other states, the number of students graduating from high school with a high school diploma dropped in the state over that same period.
States with the lowest proportion of students scoring at the ACT or below on the tests were Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Mississippi.
In fact, the top 10 states with higher proportion of highly-achieved students on the SATs were the same states with lowest proportion with a college degree in the same year.
For example, the states with students scoring in the highest quartile in all three measures of SAT scores in 2016 were the following: Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
It’s not just the SAT score, either.
States with high percentages of students who achieved college diplomas were also in the top five for graduating high school students with college diplomases in 2020, including Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.
And that’s just the beginning.
In 2018, the Department of Education released a report showing that states with high rates of students receiving Pell Grants had the lowest graduation rates in the nation.
Of course, there are plenty of other measures of educational achievement that show the same trends.
But when you compare the two data sets, it becomes clear that the more you can measure, the better.
Source: National Center of Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/academics/report/pdf/ACEP-2016-Pell_report.pdf