Staff Editorial: Students should be given choice to opt out of ACT

November 12, 2021

We at The Red ‘n’ Green believe that all students should not be required to take the ACT. We believe this for multiple reasons. One of the leading reasons is that some students have no plans to continue their education after high school. Therefore, they don’t try as hard – if at all – on the ACT since their score will not affect them in any way once they finish high school. However, the score they receive affects the school as a whole and the school’s report card, which can play a factor in how much funding the school might receive. 

The DPI (Department of Public Instruction) provides the school a report card each year detailing where students lie on a scale regarding their intelligence and how advanced they are. The DPI uses separate mandatory tests when determining the school report card; those tests consist of the Forward exam, ACT Aspire, ACT with writing and the DLM (Dynamic Learning Maps) for students with very severe cognitive disabilities. We believe that there should instead be a separate alternative test that is required besides the ACT that doesn’t affect whether or not students get into college. Because other exams are used when determining the schools report card, the school does not rely on just this one test especially because it is designed specifically for college bound students.

Only 44% of students who applied through the college common application in the 2021-2022 school year included their ACT score alongside their application according to A total of 69.1% of high school graduates continue on to some form of education after high school according to the DPI, so why should the 31% of students who don’t have plans to continue their education after high school have to take the ACT?

We believe that the school should provide the ACT to students who want and choose to take it, but it shouldn’t be required for all students, nor should it be used on the school report card. This would mean students who chose to take the ACT would sign up for it in the office or student services. There would be a day designated for taking the ACT and those students would then show up on said day for the ACT while those not participating do something else educational. 

By late March of the 2020-2021 school year only 34% of students said that they were willing to take the ACT according to which was in part due to COVID-19. This just further proves that the ACT should not be mandatory due to the fact that it is designed specifically for college-bound students. 

We believe that students should not be forced to take the ACT as students who are not planning on going to college don’t benefit from it. There is truly no need to force students into taking the ACT as a mandatory test because there are other mandatory tests used by the DPI to create the school report.