Skip to main content

MN students lead the nation in ACT scores; achievement gap persists

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

For the 10th year in a row, Minnesota students lead the nation in ACT scores, but the results show there is still a gap in scores between white and minority students.

Minnesota seniors have the highest average ACT score among states where at least half the students took the exam, according to a report released Wednesday.

They averaged a score of 22.7 out of 36 – a slight dip from the 22.9 average last year – but still higher than the national average of 21.

The small dip in test scores isn't worrisome, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says, because more students took the exam. Seventy-eight percent of the class of 2015 took the ACT, up 2 percent from last year, the report notes.

"Being able to show stable scores with a one-tenth or two-tenths of a percent of change with increasing enrollment is very significant in showing that we're able to sustain this high performance level for many, many years," Cassellius told MPR News.

Minnesota also leads the nation in overall college preparedness. Thirty-nine percent of students meet college readiness standards in English, reading, math and science.

Achievement gap

The number of minority students who took the exam also went up, but they scored significantly lower than their white counterparts.

“... A significant challenge remains in regard to the educational attainment of low-income and students of color, and we need to focus on eliminating that gap," Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller said in a news release Wednesday.

More than 75 percent of the students who took the exam were white, scoring on average 23.7. That's compared to the 19.8 average score for Hispanic students, and the 17.6 score for black students, results show.

College preparedness is also lacking with minority students, both in Minnesota and across the nation, which is concerning, a news release on the national report notes.

"Our nation’s most underserved students too often are being neglected, trapped in poor education systems and lacking access to critical information and resources in order to navigate the system," ACT President Jon Erickson said in the release. "We simply must do better. It’s time to step up our efforts to provide them and all students with quality tools, skills and behaviors that prepare them for success."

Next Up

Muhammad Masood

Guilty plea: Ex-Mayo Clinic researcher tried to fly to Syria and fight for ISIS

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man says he was pistol-whipped, robbed at gunpoint by trio

The incident allegedly happened in Brooklyn Park early Friday morning.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

Is the State Fair heatwave real, or an urban legend?

Sven Sundgaard checks the data behind the notion that the State Fair is Minnesota's 'last summer hurrah.'

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.

FatalEaganCrashSceneAug18

Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.

unnamed-3

Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.

Related