Minn. ed commissioner wants ACT to be an even higher-stakes testby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The state's education commissioner says she's exploring ways to make the ACT college entrance exam even higher-stakes for Minnesota students than it already is.
Wednesday's release of ACT scores shows 72 percent of Minnesota high school graduates took the test. No state with that much participation scored higher. But 72 percent isn't enough for Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, especially considering there are waivers available so students can take the test for free.
The problem, she said, is not enough students realize how crucial the ACT is.
"There are so many tests that they're taking; they don't know which is the important test," Cassellius said. "We want to have a test that actually measures their career and college readiness."
Cassellius said she's planning a push for 100 percent participation, but won't say yet how she'll get there. Other states have laws or rules requiring all students take the test. Other states simply use the ACT as their go-to standardized test which in Minnesota, would mean ditching the current MCA tests.
"I have to work with an assessment and accountability task force to be able to determine what we'll do in the future, Cassellius said.
This year's Minnesota class of 2011 scored an average of 22.9 out of a possible 36 on the ACT. That average is unchanged from last year.
Average scores by subject:
|Participation||72 percent||49 percent|