An education analyst maintains that she is not surprised that the majority of high school graduates taking the American College Testing (ACT) college readiness test failed to hit the benchmark in the core subjects tested.
Nearly two-thirds of high school graduates taking the ACT exam failed to achieve the benchmark in three of four core subjects.
Lindsey Burke, who serves as a Will Skillman Fellow in Education at the Heritage Foundation, contends that the failure reflects an all-too-familiar trend in public education.
"We've seen a trend in low educational attainment levels below what I think we would all like to see for decades now,” Burke pointed out. “And so this is really more evidence of a lot of the same that students are really failing to get what they need to be successful."
She says that a huge part of the problem of low student achievement is that public school students are assigned to schools by the government’s use of zip codes.
"Whenever you have that sort of top-down, government-delivered, assignment-by-zip-code model, then you're never going to be able to get the results you want because students just aren't able to access the type of unique learning options that would match well with what they need," Burke explained.
Burke insists that the perennial problem of low ACT scores is a further case for offering parents greater options for school choice.