The headline of a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article by Ilana Kowarski was “A Record Number of High-School Graduates Pass ACT College-Readiness Benchmarks.”

At the same time, another education article, this one by Stephanie Banchero in the Wall Street Journal, complained that “Scores Stagnate at High Schools.” These two divergent headlines were, however, actually addressing the same thing.

The ACT, the standardized test (and SAT rival) used for college admissions in many states, produces an annual report of “college and career readiness.” The latest ACT report exposed the fact that about 24 percent of students who took the ACT test scored at a level that the ACT considers prepared for college-level work.

Last year, however, ACT indicated that only 23 percent of high school seniors were ready for college. That’s one percentage point higher than in 2008.

In fact, very little has changed. Yes, more high school students received good ACT scores this year than ever before. But it’s still true that an abysmal one quarter of ACT takers are even minimally prepared for college. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer