Instructor Says Low Reading Abilities to Blame for Low Test Scores

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COLUMBIA - According to a new report released by those who make the ACT test, fewer than one-third of Missouri students are prepared for college. The report came out the same week colleges across that state welcomed thousands of new freshmen.

Out of the nearly 50,000 Missouri high school graduates who took the ACT, 72 percent met the benchmark for English, but in the other three subjects, less than 50 percent are prepared for the next level of education. Those numbers boil down to 28 percent of students who took the test are ready for college.

While those numbers may seem staggering, education experts said it's not all bad.

"It is encouraging that Missouri is scoring higher than the national average," said Columbia Sylvan Learning Center Director Jill Dudley.

The national average is two percentage points lower than Missouri's - at 26 percent of students prepared.

Dudley said it's also important to note that college-readiness can mean different things.

"This is also more of your standard traditional college ready," said Dudley. "There are a lot of students that tend to go different paths. So they might decide a 4-year institution isn't right for them."

Education experts over at Columbia College aren't too surprised either.

"We know every student is not ready for college when they graduate high school," says Teresa Vandover, an Associate Professor of Education at Columbia College.

The school prepares itself to help out those students who aren't quite ready.

"If students need additional help in math, we have a math center they can go to. We have a writing center that they can go to," said Vandover.

The new report is 20 pages long and loaded with information and numbers, to find the full report, click here.