With a 20.9 composite average, the 2013 ACT scores are the lowest they’ve been in five years, with the biggest drops occurring in the English and reading sections, reports InsideHigher Ed.
“The high school class of 2013’s composite average is down 0.2 points from 21.1 last year, and English and reading scores (averaging 20.2 and 21.1) are down 0.3 and 0.2 points, respectively.
“The diversity of students in the pool continues to grow, which is a good thing. The aspirations of those students continues to rise, which is a good thing,” ACT President Jon Erickson said. “But the performance of the students still leaves something to be desired.”
“More students are taking the exam — some of whom are required by schools to do so but have no collegiate aspirations — which accounts in part for the lower scores, Erickson said. ACT also made some logistical changes this year: updating the reading and science benchmarks, and including scores of students who were accommodated with extra time.“I’m kind of looking at this as a new normal,” he said, “a new baseline.”
“The score decline in composite average as well as for each individual benchmark — English, reading, mathematics and science – was steeper among students who did not complete a high school core curriculum comprising four years of English and three years of each other benchmark subject. Twenty-six percent of tested students – one percentage point higher than last year – met all four subject benchmarks, which indicate a 50 percent chance of making a B grade or 75 percent chance of a C grade in corresponding college courses. The majority of students (64 percent) met the English benchmark, while 44 percent met reading and/or math benchmarks and 36 percent made it in science.”
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/21/act-scores-fall-lowest-level-five-years#ixzz2clvatvAm
Inside Higher Ed
Although about the half the total U.S. population is married and the numbers continue to drop, Gallup today reported that only 5% say that they never ever, ever, ever want to tie the knot. About 20% are out there hunting, and the rest are divorced or just disillusioned
These results are based on a June 20-24 Gallup poll, which reports thus: It is not known whether the percentage who don’t want to marry was lower in previous years or decades. But 5% is a low absolute percentage, regardless of what it was in the past.
“Attitudes about marriage are important in the context of a declining marriage rate in the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that the rate of marriage is down, from 9.9 marriages per 1,000 Americans in 1987 to 6.8 in 2011. In addition, researchers at the University of Maryland found that the marriage rate per 1,000 unmarried women fell from 90 in 1950, at the height of the baby boom, to just 31 in 2011.
“There is significant variation across age groups in the four marriage categories, mainly driven by the increase in the “married” or “previously married” percentage as age increases. Nine percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 are unmarried and express no interest in marrying, but 56% of this group is unmarried and does want to get married. This high level of interest in marriage suggests there is little widespread attitudinal aversion to first-time marriage among the nation’s younger unmarried residents.
“Nonwhites in the 18- to 34-year-old age group are significantly less likely than whites of the same age to be married. But 61% of the never-married younger nonwhites want to get married, meaning that 81% of this group is married or wants to be, only slightly lower than the 87% of young whites who are in these two categories. Continue reading “Many ambivalent about marriage”
College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years, reports the New York Times today. “The college-age population is dropping after more than a decade of sharp growth, and many adults who opted out of a forbidding job market and went back to school during the recession have been drawn back to work by the economic recovery.
“Hardest hit are likely to be colleges that do not rank among the wealthiest or most prestigious, and are heavily dependent on tuition revenue, raising questions about their financial health — even their survival.
“There are many institutions that are on the margin, economically, and are very concerned about keeping their doors open if they can’t hit their enrollment numbers,” said David A. Hawkins, the director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which has more than 1,000 member colleges.
“The most competitive colleges remain unaffected, but gaining admission to middle-tier institutions will most likely get easier.
“Colleges fear that their high prices and the concern over rising student debt are turning people away, and on Wednesday, President Obama again challenged them to rein in tuition increases. Colleges have resorted to deeper discounts and accelerated degree programs. In all, the four-year residential college experience as a presumed rite of passage for middle-class students is coming under scrutiny.”
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/education/in-a-recovering-economy-a-decline-in-college-enrollment.html?