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College & Workforce Readiness

Mississippi Considers Requiring Minimum ACT Score for Graduation

By Liana Loewus — February 21, 2014 1 min read

Mississippi is considering using the ACT college-entrance test as the high school exit exam for students in public schools, reports the Associated Press—something no other state has done.

Currently, Mississippi students have to pass four tests to graduate, in algebra, English, biology, and U.S. history. Governor Phil Bryant is pushing a plan to set a minimum composite ACT score instead. On a 118-1 vote, legislators in the House passed a bill that would set up a pilot program to give the exam to students in 10 districts. The Senate will take a look at it next.

The ACT is a college-readiness exam that rivals the SAT. Opponents of the bill say it is not a measure of what students learned in high school, but how well they will do in college.

Mississippi is a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium, which is developing common-core-aligned tests to assess college and career readiness. Many state higher education systems have agreed—at least in principle at the current moment—to use the “college readiness” score on PARCC’s exams for course-placement decisions. It’s up to states to decide, however, whether or not they use the PARCC test as a high school graduation requirement.

We’ll keep an eye on where, if anywhere, this proposal goes.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.