Minn. students tops in ACT scores, but gaps remain

Minnesota students are again tops in the country on ACT scores. But gaps in college readiness among students of color persist.

Minnesota's 2013 high school graduates scored an average of 23 on their ACT, the highest in the nation among states where a majority of students take the college readiness test. That's about two points above the national average, according to the testing company's recently released report .

The highest score students can earn is a 36. Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have higher overall scores, but far fewer students in those states take the ACT than do in Minnesota. About 74 percent of Minnesota's graduating class, 44,676 students, took the college admissions test this year.

Minnesota students are also doing better at meeting college readiness benchmarks in the ACT's four tested areas: reading, English, math and science; 39 percent of Minnesota students are meeting the benchmarks, three points higher than last year, and 13 points higher than the national average.

Minnesota has held the top spot among states for the last eight years.

The ACT data, though, also show a stubborn achievement gap continuing here between white students and students of color: 61 percent of white students in Minnesota met college readiness benchmarks in three out of four subjects. Only 16 percent of black students met the same benchmarks, creating a gap that has widened by four percentage points in the last five years.

There's also a gap of sorts in the number of students of color who take the ACT; 77 percent students who took the test in Minnesota this year were white.

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