This year's high school graduates in both states fell short when measured against national results for ACT college readiness benchmarks but Kentucky is making improvements.
In English, reading, mathematics and science combined, 18% of both Kentucky's and Tennessee's classes of 2013 achieved college readiness compared with 26% nationally. The results were released Wednesday in the ACT's yearly report, "The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013."
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said students and teachers have made progress during the past five years.
The broadest difference was in math, where 30% of Kentucky graduates met college readiness marks, compared with 44% throughout the U.S. In science, statewide 28% met the mark, while 36% were on target nationally. 29% of Tennessee graduates met the college readiness marks in math with 27% achieving the science standard.
Kentucky's public high school seniors scored higher on the ACT college entrance exam than a year ago, but their performance remained below the national average, education officials said Wednesday. The average composite ACT score rose to 19.5 for Kentucky's public high school Class of 2012, up from 19.2 in 2011, according to data released by the state Department of Education.