Oregon College Readiness Marginally Better Than Nation

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, August 21 2013 at 6:15 PM, Updated: Wed, August 21 2013 at 6:56 PM

Students across Southern Oregon and Northern California are preparing to go back to school.

But there's news tonight that doesn't look good for many high school graduates.

According to the college test the ACT, only about a quarter of grads in the United States passed benchmarks in english, reading, math and science and are ready for college.

In Oregon, about 30% of students are prepared for college.

"It's probably a fairly accurate number," said Todd Bloomquist, the Director of Secondary Education at the Medford School District.

Oregon's students are doing a bit better than others across the nation.

"There's lots of factors certainly, the fact we've been doing standardized assessments for so long, the fact that we have work sample assessments as well."

But for some groups the percentage of college-ready grads is lower. 13% of African Americans and 15% of Hispanic students met three or more of the ACT's benchmarks. They're indicators that some people say point to racial disparity.

"Is that a factor? Absolutely. There are subpopulations that have historically not done well that is a focus for us. One of our goals is closing that achievement gap," said Bloomquist.

On the other hand, 53% of Whites and 54% of Asian people in Oregon met three or more of the benchmarks.

But in the end, as a state, we're still not making the cut.

"It's a relentless pursuit of all kids getting to that grade level and that benchmark."

School officials are hoping newer, more rigorous testing and standards this upcoming year will mean more high school grads prepared for college.

Todd Bloomquist said while the ACT is an indicator, it's also important to remember that it's a snapshot of how a student performed on a particular day.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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