Mississippi lags behind nation in ACT scores

By Ashley Porter

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The state's ACT results revealed that just 10 percent of 2009's graduating seniors are prepared for college coursework.

"Our courses in high school, because that's the data we have from the ACT, need to be beefed up," said Kris Kaase, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum with the Mississippi Department of Education.

"They may not get A's and B's because it's more rigorous, but they'll be better prepared as they leave high school."

Mississippi test-takers scored an average of 18.9 out of a possible 36, the lowest in the country.

Schools such as the University of Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State prefer at least a composite score of 16 for someone with a 2.5 GPA and 18 for a student with a 2.0.

"We've got to focus and we've gotta get kids up to speed," Representative Cecil Brown said. "We've got to put the mechanics in place and the structure in place so we can make improvements over time. And that's what we're trying to do."

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