ACT scores have risen in Colorado even with Gov. Bill Owens’ education act, which requires every high school junior in the state to take the test. SAT scores, however, have seen an even larger rise in scores.
While the ACT still remains close to the national average, SAT scores have blown other states away.
In 2002, ACT scores of Colorado students averaged 20.1, while the national average was at 20.8.
For the SAT scores, Colorado students averaged 1091 on math and verbal skills, while the national average lagged behind at 1020.
“We believe we have seen such an increase in SAT scores because students that want to strive to be better are taking the SAT, while students are being forced to take the ACT or don’t feel they have to do more than that,” said David Bahna, a consultant for the Colorado Department of Education.
According to Bahna, the reason that Colorado mandated the ACT over the SAT was because the ACT filled the requirements Colorado believed students needed at the time.
These requirements were reading, mathematics and science, where the SAT mainly focused on math and verbal skills.
So far the Colorado Board of Education is very excited with the results in the last two years.
“We’ve seen a slight increase in scores,” Bahna said. “We just wanted to provide students the opportunity to see if they had the chance to consider higher education as an option.”