The news about the performance of African-American high school students on their most important tests is not good.  The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports in its article “ACT Results Show a Huge Racial Gap in College Readiness” that there has been a continuous widening of the gap between the performance of black students and white students over the last five years.  A comparison of black student readiness to white student readiness follows:

ACT Test Results

English Readiness Math Readiness Science Readiness Overall College Readiness
Black Students 35% 14% 6% 4%
White Students 77% 54% 37% 31%

The news continues to be bleak but is a little better on the SAT results.  The Journal also reports in “Study Shows Only 15 Percent of African-American SAT Test Takers Are Well Prepared for College” that the racial gap in readiness for college has grown on this test as well.  The College Board (short for The College Entrance Examination Board), which administers the SAT, has set a benchmark of 1550 on the combined reading, mathematics, and writing sections of the test.  They believe that a student with that score has 65% chance of achieving a high B- average in his or her freshman year of college.  The College Board’s data indicates another significant gap between the readiness of black students and others as indicated by the benchmark score:

  • Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander                        59%
  • White                                                                                    53%
  • Other                                                                                    43%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native                                     34%
  • Hispanic/Latino                                                                 23%
  • Black/African American                                                   15%