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Colorado K-12 education news: ACT scores exceed national average, child population grows, and more

Colorado exce national average in ACT scores

About 81% of Colorado students were ready for college-level work when it came to their knowledge of grammar and the mechanics of sentences, but fewer were prepared for other subjects.

A report on Colorado students’ 2019 ACT scores found 64% were adequately prepared in reading, 61% in math and 56% in science. About 45% scored as ready in all subjects.

Colorado exceeded the national average of 59% of students prepared in grammar, 45% prepared in reading, 39% in math and 36% in science.

It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, however, because some states require all students to take the ACT. In Colorado, fewer students took the test in 2019 than in 2015, but their average score was higher — suggesting most of those who took it were seriously interested in college.

Nationwide, fewer students who took the ACT had scores that suggested they were ready for college or a career than in previous years, according to ACT’s research arm. The percentage of students found to be ready in English and math hit its lowest level in 15 years. It’s possible that could reflect more marginal students taking the test, because scores stayed roughly steady for students who had taken four years of English and three years of other core subjects. In Colorado, scores were roughly steady compared to 2018.

Colorado child population up, percentage down

Colorado gained about 47,000 children from 2009 to 2018, but the share of the population under 18 dropped slightly, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which studies children’s issues.

About 23% of Coloradans were younger than 18 in 2018, down from 24% in 2009. During that time, the adult population increased by about 597,000.

The number of children younger than 1 dropped slightly from 2017 to 2018, but was at roughly the same level as in 2009. The number of infants has actually rebounded since hitting a low in 2013.

Nationwide, the child population decreased by about 735,000 during that time.

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