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More Minorities Taking ACT, but Score Gaps Persist

More Minorities Taking ACT, but Score Gaps Persist
Catherine Gewertz, Education Week | August 18, 2010

Far more Hispanic students are taking the ACT than ever, but their scores continue to fall short of levels considered necessary for strong performance in college.

Scores released today by ACT Inc. for the graduating class of 2010 show that the number of Hispanic students who have taken the college-entrance exam during high school grew 84 percent in the past five years. Participation by Asian-American students rose by 63 percent and by African-American students 55 percent, compared with a 29 percent rise in the number of white students.

But stubborn score gaps persist among racial and ethnic groups.

Hispanic and black students were the least likely to reach ACT score levels that are predictive of college success. Only 11 percent of Hispanic students and 4 percent of black students met the ACT’s benchmarks for college readiness in all four subject areas tested, compared with 30 percent of white students and 39 percent of Asian students. The exam, which is scored on a 36-point scale, covers mathematics, English, reading, and science. (Read the full article)