How well did Florida students do on the Class of 2019 ACT exam?

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Florida’s graduating class of 2019 shows a mixture of results on the ACT college entrance exam — both good and bad.

The good is: Florida’s score of 20.1 across all test sections – English, reading, math and science – is up from 19.9 in 2018.

The bad is: The scores likely went up because fewer students took the ACT in the Class of 2019.

The ACT data show that 97,915 kids took the ACT, down from 119,543 the year before. The number of students taking the exam can make a difference in results, depending on whether kids are high or low-performing students.

Only 54 percent of students in the Class of 2019 took the ACT exam, compared to 100 percent for students in 15 states, from Alabama and other southern states to Midwest states, such as Ohio.

In addition, Florida’s 20.1 score is lower than the national average of 20.7.

Students also can take the rival SAT college entrance exam. Both companies use the scores for college admissions purposes, though college and universities around the country have begun eschewing the exams and using other measures to enroll college students.

The breakout for the 2019 ACT sections for Florida is: 19.5 in English; 21.2 for reading; 19.5 in math and 19.7 in science. Florida’s scores fell below the national average in English, math and science. Florida’s reading score was the same as the national average.

The ACT company also looks at whether students are prepared for key college classes, based on a college-readiness analysis of scores.

In that analysis, only 22 percent of students were considered prepared across all ACT subjects – English, reading, math and science. That compares to 21 percent the year before.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.