NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Statistics show that more Texas high school seniors are hoping to go to college — although their ACT scores show they might not get in.

According to Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe, the number of students taking the ACT college admissions test reached an all-time high this year.

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“Over the past five years the number of kids taking that test has risen to 39-percent,” she said.

While the number of Texas students getting out their #2 pencils to actually take the test is up, the average test score hasn’t increased. ACT vice president of educational services, Paul Weeks, said Texas scores have been flat for about four years.

“Sixty-one percent of the students who took the ACT in this last grad class are at risk, as represented by the fact that they met two or fewer of the four college readiness benchmark scores,” Weeks explained. “That just puts them at risk of not succeeding in college or in entry level workforce training programs.”

About one out of three Texas students, who took the ACT this year, aren’t ready for college level reading, math, English or science courses.

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The Texas composite ACT score is 20.8, a number that falls below the average national score of 21.1.

Rob Eissler, a Texas State Representative and Chair of the Public Education Committee, attributes the poor academic showing to schools not holding students more accountable in getting ready for college. He says new legislation that will take effect this school year should change that.

“That was the aim of revamping the accountability system to go from a TAKS test, which was a high stakes minimum skills test, to the STARR which is kind of a ramp up to see where a student should be.”

Click here to read more about the Condition of College & Career Readiness study and to check out 2012 ACT national and state scores.

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