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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

ACT: 9% of disadvantaged are college ready

Huge achievement gaps separate advantaged and disadvantaged students, according to ACT’s annual The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2017 report.

“Scores from the ACT show that just 9 percent of students in the class of 2017 who came from low-income families, whose parents did not go to college, and who identify as black, Hispanic, American Indian or Pacific Islander are strongly ready for college,” reports Nick Anderson in the Washington Post.

Image result for ladder with broken rungs achievement

By contrast, 54 percent of students with college-educated, middle-income, white or Asian-American parents were prepared to succeed in college, ACT estimated.

“That kind of shocked us,” ACT chief executive Marten Roorda said. “We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know it was this bad.”

Fifteen percent of students with two risk factors and 26 percent with one risk factor tested as prepared for college.

About 46 percent of ACT test-takers have one “underserved” characteristic. (“Underserved” is the new “disadvantaged.”)

Overall, results were about the same as recent years: 39 percent of 2017 graduates who took the ACT met three or four College Readiness benchmarks and 33 percent met none.

. . . the majority of underserved students—including 81 percent of those with all three underserved characteristics—achieved only one or none of the four ACT benchmarks.

“ACT has grown in part through contracts with states that require students to take the exam before they graduate from public high schools,” writes Anderson. “The ACT said 16 states paid for all students to take the test as part of a statewide testing program, with others funding testing on an optional basis.”

That means some students who take the test aren’t planning to go to college.

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