(KMSP) - Scores on the ACT college entrance exam rose for Minnesota students in 2017 and the state’s average score continues to be one of the best in the nation, according to a new report released Thursday.
For the second year in a row, Minnesota ranked first among the 17 states that give the test to all students. Minnesota students had an average composite score of 21.5 on the exam, beating the national average of 21. The national average returned to 2014 and 2015 levels after dropping to 20.8 in 2016.
According to the results, sixty-three percent of students in Minnesota met the college readiness benchmark for English, 50 percent met the benchmark for reading, 48 percent met the benchmark for math and 42 met the benchmark for science.
While ACT results improved for all student groups in the Minnesota, students of color and American Indian students continue score lower on average than their white peers on the exam. The report indicated a similar gap exists nationwide.
In a statement, Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said educators will continuing working "to improve equity in our schools until we see gaps shrinking everywhere."
More than two million high school graduates took the ACT test in 2017 – 60 percent of the entire U.S. graduating class.