Georgia's high school students need to get their ACT together. Statewide scores for the ACT (American College Test) did not become worse this year, but they remain below the national average. For two years, the average composite score on the test, one of two national college entrance exams, was 19.9. That number is 1.1 below the national average.

Far more Georgia students take the SAT, but more colleges are looking at the ACT as a test that measures students on what they learned in school, rather than an aptitude test.

Only 19 percent of Georgia's high school graduates took the ACT, compared with the national average of 38 percent. Of the Georgians who took the test, 26 percent are not capable of doing college level work.

That is abysmal and embarrassing in a state that is striving to improve public education.

We agree with Otis Brumby Jr., chairman of the state Board of Education, who says expectations must be raised and that the requirements for the senior year of high school need to be re-examined.

Demanding and expecting students to do better usually results in improved performance from students of all aptitudes.

Meanwhile, we can only hope to learn that the state's SAT scores improved over last year when they are released Aug. 28. Georgia ranked 50th in the nation last year in average SAT scores, behind Washington, D.C., and ahead only of South Carolina.



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