Friday, October 16, 2009

Asians lead in ACT report of college preparedness

ACT The Condition of College Readiness

The ACT college admission test is a rival of the SAT. They just issued a report of how ready American high school students who took the test are for college. I just took a quick glance, but there seems to be an underlying theme of which group is ahead. However, I doubt it will be covered in any news stories, since the only message that ever gets out in the press is how minorities score lower than whites and asians because of structural racism.

ACT tested high school graduates who completed core curriculum by race/ethnicity 2009. Asians are the highest, no surprise there.

80% Asian
73% White
70% All
67% Hispanic
64% African American
59% American Indian / Alaska Native

Asian American / Pacific Islander graduates had the highest average composite ACT scores, no surprise there either, though there was a time when Asian verbal performance on the SAT made the combination lower on the SAT before the 1990s. But overall, Asians are scoring higher, despite any problem they might have with language. Hispanics score higher than African Americans even though they also have a language barrier.
23.2 Asian
22.2 white
18.9 Am Indian
18.7 Hispanic
16.9 African American
One-third of all Asian American / PI graduates met all four College readiness benchmarks more than students from all other groups in 2009. African American gradates were least likely.

36% Asian American
28% White
11% American Indian
10% Hispanic
 4% African American

p. 16 89% of Asian American / PI grads aspired to earn at least a bachelor's degree. American Indian/AN were least likely (35%) vs AfAm (45%) Hispanic (46%) and White(43%) aspired to a graduate or professional degree. What's interesting is that for all intents and purposes, the Hispanics, Whites and AfAms were about the SAME, only the Asians were way ahead of the pack.

The recommendations were for "Clear Performance Standards", which I despise because it's a codeword for outcomes based education and failed high-stakes tests like Washington's WASL and California's failed CLAS which have been disasters and an excuse for abandoning teaching of basic skills in favor of crazy stuff even us college grad parents were never expected to know. "States must define 'how good is good enough' for college and career readiness. In addition to a consistent, rigorous set of essential K–12 content standards, states must define performance standards so that students, parents, and teachers know how well students must perform academically to have a reasonable chance of success at college or on the job." Unlike the SAT, which does not have "passing score", the ACT defines “college readiness” as students having approximately a 75% chance of earning a grade of C or higher or a 50% chance of earning a grade of B or higher in first-year college English Composition; College Algebra; History, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, or Economics; and Biology. But for most students, there is probably a college that will take anybody, no matter how low their scores as long as it's paid for and they show up. It's only the most competitive colleges where a test score may let you in or keep you out.

Interesting, and hopefully, no mention or blame was made of race, class, or gender with respect to how all students should attain these goals. Just study hard. Is that so un-PC???

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