For Immediate Release
October 28, 2009
For More Information:
Nancy Owen, ACT Media Relations
Phone: (319) 341-2289
ACT Honors Illinois State Board of Education
Award Recognizes Progress Preparing Students for College and Career Readiness
Iowa City, IA — To celebrate 50 years of helping students achieve education and workforce success, ACT today honored the State of Illinois for dramatically improving the college and career readiness of all their students.
ACT presented the ACT Systems of Excellence Award to the Illinois State Board of Education at the “Recognizing Exemplary Achievement in College and Career Readiness” ceremony today in Washington D.C. Dr. Christopher A. Koch, Illinois superintendent of education, accepted the award, which honors states that have increased the likelihood of success for students, their families, and educators through the implementation of coherent policies and initiatives that raise the expectations for and performance of all students.
“Illinois has a sharp focus on improving their student’s college and career readiness,” said ACT CEO and Board Chairman Richard Ferguson. “We are honored to recognize Illinois’ exemplary achievements. Like ACT, Illinois has an unwavering commitment to help everyone achieve academic and workplace success.”
As part of that rigorous preparation, since 2001 all Illinois students have taken the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) during their junior year. The knowledge and skills measured by ACT tests within the PSAE are closely aligned with Illinois’ challenging state learning standards.
The PSAE includes the ACT®, a curriculum-based achievement exam; and two ACT WorkKeys® tests that measure workforce foundational skills. Since the first high school juniors were tested in 2001:
- Academic achievement has increased in all four subject areas across all racial/ethnic groups. Average Composite scores for Illinois students have increased at a rate twice that seen nationally.
- Improvements in students’ overall college and career readiness benchmark attainment exceed those seen nationally.
- Many more Illinois students are now in the college pipeline, particularly underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students and lower-income students.
- More Illinois students have enrolled in college, including many students without college intentions at the time of statewide testing. In addition, college retention rates of Illinois high school graduates remained stable despite this substantial increase in diversity and overall population.
ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides a broad array of assessment, research, information, and program management solutions in the areas of education and workforce development. Each year, ACT serves millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies – nationally and internationally.
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, ACT offers a wide variety of solutions that share one guiding purpose – to help people achieve education and workplace success. For more information about ACT, visit www.act.org.