Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
2016 ACT Scores: 85% of Hawaii Students not College-Ready
By News Release @ 6:07 AM :: 7156 Views :: Education K-12, Hawaii Statistics

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016

Hawaii Key Findings

From, August, 2016


• In Hawaii, 12,232 students in the 2016 graduating class took the ACT. This is a slight increase of 275 students from 11,957 tested in 2015. However, since 2012, the number of Hawaii students taking the ACT has increased by 238%.

• In Hawaii, the percent of students meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks include

-- A 1% increase in English, from 45% to 46%.

-- A 1% increase in mathematics, from 29% to 30%.

-- The reading Benchmark attainment (30%) and science Benchmark attainment (23%) were the same as in 2015.

-- Just as in 2015, 15% of the Hawaii 2016 graduating class met all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

• Relative to ACT Composite score and subject level scores, Hawaii saw the following:

-- Even as the size of the state's graduating class taking the ACT has grown, the average ACT Composite score increased from 18.5 to 18.7.

-- The average state Composite score, 18.7, is less than the national average of 20.8; however, since census testing began in 2014, the state has continued to make gains (2014-18.2).


• Hawaii graduates who took advanced science and math courses show higher levels of achievement:

--Students who took physics earned significantly higher average science scores and were more likely to meet or surpass the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in science than those who did not

-- Students who took a fourth year of math in high school, regardless of course, significantly outperformed those students who did not, in both ACT mathematics scores and in Benchmark attainment • STEM Benchmark

-- 11% of Hawaii students met the STEM benchmark of 26 in 2016.

-- The average ACT STEM score in Hawaii was 19.1, while the national average ACT STEM score was 20.9.

-- Of the Hawaii students meeting the STEM Benchmark:

    • The Hawaii average ACT mathematics score was 28.7, in line with the national average. (The mathematics STEM Benchmark is 27.)
    • The Hawaii average ACT science score was 28.0, while the national average ACT science score was 28.6. (The science STEM Benchmark is 25.)

Career Readiness

• This year, for the first time, ACT has provided an indicator of career readiness based on ACT composite scores. Table 3.4 in the state ACT Profile Report details how ACT-tested Hawaii graduates are progressing toward the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRCIIl).

• Progress toward career readiness is based on research linking ACT Composite scores to ACT NCRC levels. The ACT Composite cut score for each ACT NCRC level corresponds to a 50% chance of obtaining that level. If a student's ACT Composite score surpassed the cut score for an ACT NCRC level, they are categorized as making progress towards the next higher ACT NCRC level. Attainment of ACT NCRC levels indicates workplace employability skills that are critical to job success.

• In Hawaii, 53% of ACT tested graduates are considered making progress towards at least a gold ACT -NCRC level. This compares to 68% nationally.

  *   *   *   *   *  

Behaviors that Impact Access and Opportunity

Testing patterns

--82.2% of Hawaii students take the ACT only once, compared to the national average of 57%.

--For the last five years, Asian students have been the testing majority, with students identifying as two or more races a close second

• Below are the top five colleges and universities to which Hawaii graduates sent their ACT scores:

  1. University of Hawaii at Manoa
  2. University of Hawaii at Hilo
  3. Hawaii Pacific University
  4. University of Hawaii at West Oahu
  5. University of Nevada-Las Vegas

• University of Nevada-Las Vegas and University of Oregon are the out-of-state schools that receive the most scores from Hawaii students (#5 and #9 in the top ten, respectively).

• Fee Waiver Usage N In Hawaii, there were 1,161 fee waivers issued and 882 of those were used. This equates to a 76.0% usage rate. The national rate was 74.5%.

-- Only 64.8% of fee waivers given to Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders were used, meaning 70 waivers went unused.

-- ACT provides students fee waivers to provide more access and opportunity for students.

• 75.7% of Hawaii students who registered for the ACT opted to participate in the ACT Educational Opportunity Service (EOS), which is on par with the national average of 73.1 %. Participating in EOS exposes students to numerous academic and scholarship opportunities they might not have otherwise found on their own. ACT research has shown that college enrollment rates increase for those who opt in to EOS, regardless of academic achievement levels.

• ACT's "Get Your Name in the Game" campaign provides students an opportunity to find colleges that would be a good fit and helps students who were not thinking about postsecondary education to realize that college is a possibility.

--Hawaii colleges and universities have yet to take advantage of this free service from ACT, which provides names of underserved learners to increase access and diversity on their campuses. Many of the 81% of Hawaii students participating in the "Get Your Name in the Game" initiative, as well as students nationwide, would be a part of this service.

• 3% of ACT-tested Hawaii 2016 graduates expressed an interest in pursuing education as a major or career. Those students earned an average ACT Composite score of 18.6, slightly lower than the state average of 18.7. In comparison, 7% expressed an interest in pursuing visual and performing arts.

• The top five educational majors reported by the 2016 Hawaii graduating class are:

--Health Sciences and Technologies-1,982; average Composite score of 19.4

--Engineering-1,018; average Composite score of 20.5

--Business-1,006; average Composite score of 19.3

--Arts, Visual & Performing-914; average Composite score of 18.0

--Undecided-885; average Composite score of 21.0

• Aspirations matter.  Students in Hawaii who aspire to a higher level of postsecondary education achieve higher ACT Composite scores:

--829 students aspiring to an associate's degree had an average Composite score of 15.1.

--5,085 students aspiring to a bachelor's degree had an average Composite score of 18.4.

--1,400 students aspiring to a graduate degree had an average Composite score of 21.6.

  *   *   *   *   *  


1. Create an assessment model that measures a variety of skill domains and competencies required for college and career success. Historically, college and career readiness assessments have focused only on academic skills. ACT research has clearly established areas of competency important for college and career readiness success. While our research shows that ACT solutions independently measure key components of college AND career readiness, we and others have begun to realize that no single solution can measure the full breadth of this readiness, nor should it. Simply put the ACT alone is not enough to measure the full breadth of career readiness. A more holistic assessment model, incorporating multiple domains and specific skills associated with career clusters or occupations, will typically be most appropriate for describing and evaluating student readiness for college and career.

2. Optimize opportunities to influence awareness and engagement of underserved learners. Initiatives designed to aid underserved learners are only as effective as they are visible. We must inform advocates and ALL underserved learners about the available and effective programs designed for this purpose. For example, in the 2015-2016 academic year, approximately 730,000 students registered to take the ACT using fee waivers valued at more than $36 million. Yet not all eligible students took advantage of this offer. Similarly, institutions must use data to inform intervention strategies if they are going to help underserved students be prepared for postsecondary success.

3. Take the guesswork out of STEM. It is critically important to align STEM initiatives to capitalize on performance, measured interest and expressed interest Essential to this effort is expanding and nurturing interest in STEM, which will impact the emerging pipeline of STEM majors, teachers, and workers. This requires capturing a wider range of students and employing concrete measures to inform intervention and programming. To do so, states and districts must look for partnering opportunities from K-12 to postsecondary education to the workplace.

4. Focus on the implementation of fewer, higher, clearer, standards in K-12 classrooms to raise the bar for all students. No matter the adopted standards, proper implementation must focus on the most critical component for increasing readiness-effective, high-quality teaching. This requires investment in postsecondary teaching programs, professional development, and state-level collaboration among K-12 and higher education.

5. Don't over test students. When states, schools, and districts build an assessment strategy that recognizes the limits and promise of test scores, they will reduce the likelihood of over testing. Used ethically and appropriately, assessments can inform decisions at individual and institutional levels. Misunderstood, misused, or abused, assessments cause confusion, can be perceived as punitive, or result in ill-conceived strategies. To quote ACT founder E.F. Lindquist, "Assessment is valuable to the extent it bridges teaching and learning."

PDF: Hawaii Report With Graphics

PDF: Full Hawaii Details -- ACT Scores Down for 2016 U.S. Grad Class Due to Increased Percentage of Students Tested

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii's public high school graduates improve in ACT college preparedness test scores

Hawaii public school 2016 graduates who took the ACT college preparation test and who met college readiness benchmarks showed a two-percent improvement in Mathematics and one-percent improvements in English and Science, while Reading scores remained unchanged.

News Release from Hawaii DoE, August 23, 2016

HONOLULU – A national report released today shows an increase in Hawaii public schools' Class of 2016 graduates meeting college readiness benchmarks. ACT, a research-based non-profit organization, issued The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report, which includes information on students taking the ACT test in every state, including Hawaii. 

Hawaii's Class of 2016 public high school graduates meeting ACT's college readiness benchmarks saw these year-over-year changes:

  • ​A 2 percentage point improvement in Mathematics
  • A 1 percentage point improvement in English and Science
  • Unchanged Reading scores

Approximately 10,525 Hawaii public school graduates in the Class of 2016 took the ACT college preparedness test as juniors. All of Hawaii's public school juniors now take the ACT test as part of a range of recent transformational efforts to increase students' college and career readiness. Learn more about these efforts in an Expectation of College​. These efforts have produced strong increases in college enrollment, enrollment in early college programs at the high school level, as well as significant declines in college-level remediation in English and Mathematics.

The ACT results provide students information about their readiness for postsecondary education, a score that they can use for college admissions and placement, and information about how to better prepare for postsecondary education during their senior years. The ACT includes a student survey to gauge their plans for life after high school.

"Eighty percent of 2016 graduates who took the ACT test indicated their desire to earn a two- or four-year college degree, and we are encouraged by steady gains in our students' college preparation and enrollment," said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  "However, we recognize the need for more of our students to be ready for the rigors of work and study after high school."

Over the past three years, Hawaii public school students have seen steady improvements in the individually tested ACT subjects:

  • 4 percentage points up in English
  • 3 percentage points up each in Mathematics, Reading and Science

While Hawaii's scores have been rising, ACT scores nationwide have shown declines and fluctuating results. Also, not all states administer the ACT to all juniors.

Improvements in the recent ACT scores are a promising reflection of college readiness in Hawaii's public high school graduates. The ACT is one of only two readiness examinations used for U.S. college and university admissions and was taken by approximately 2.09 million 2016 graduates nationwide.  ​

Click here to view The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2016 report.  

  *   *   *   *   *

2015: ACT: Hawaii Scores Lowest in USA, Again

2014: ACT Score Report: Hawaii Students Least Ready for College

2013: ACT Scores Fall: Only 30% of Hawaii Students Meet Benchmark


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii