ACT’s Annual Score Report Shows Languishing Racial Gaps, Mediocre Scores

Charlie Tyson, Inside Higher Ed, August 20, 2014

More students than ever are taking the ACT, says the ACT’s annual score report, released today. A record 1.84 million high school students who graduated in 2014 took the college readiness test–suggesting that more young people have college in their sights. But for many test-takers, succeeding in postsecondary education might be an empty hope. Average scores remain stagnant. Only 39 percent of test-takers met three or more of the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks in English, math, reading and science–a percentage that’s unchanged from last year. And striking racial gaps persist. As in previous years, African Americans and Latinos scored much lower, on average, than their Asian-American and white peers.

Fifty-seven percent of the nation’s graduating class took the ACT, a small increase from last year. The increase suggests growing interest in college, yes. But it also reflects the sustained prestige of the ACT, which in 2012 overtook the SAT as the most popular college admissions test. {snip}


Many students faltered on the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks. The benchmarks are minimum scores that claim to predict a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher in a college course in that area. This year, 64 percent of test-takers met the benchmark in English; 44 percent met the benchmark in reading; 43 percent met the standard in mathematics and 37 percent did so in science.

Roughly 26 percent of tested students met all four benchmarks. The average ACT score was 21 out of 36 possible points–up by 0.1 points from last year.

On the benchmarks, Asian-American test-takers did best, with 57 percent meeting three or more. Forty-nine percent of white test-takers met three or more standards–compared to 23 percent of Latino test-takers and 11 percent of African-American test-takers. African Americans scored lowest on the test. Just 10 percent of African-American students who were tested met the science benchmark.

The average composite score for African Americans was 17.0, an increase of just 0.1 points from 2010. Latinos earned an average composite score of 18.8. White students notched an average of 22.3 points, and Asians recorded an average of 23.5.



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  • AmericanCitizen

    Progressives/Liberals (who decry the political right
    as science deniers) are unable to face the truth about genetic and
    hereditary differences between races. Either the science or the theory
    is racist, and if the raw numbers back up the theory then the scientist
    must be racist. Anything but an honest discussion on why we have a
    dysfunctional segment of our population that happens to be black.

    • TruthBeTold

      So true.

      The people who praise science (evolution, ‘Global Warming’, the gay gene) do nothing but deny the obvious.

      • Teresa Nichols

        That’s why you can’t debate with them. Attempting reasoned debate with a progressive is a frustrating process. It’s like getting lost in one of those giant, utility company, customer service phone trees…”Press 1 for ‘RACIST”, press 2 for “BIGOT”, to return to the previous menu press “STUPID” now..”Im sorry we could not hear your response…did you select “NAZI”?

        They have been purposely indoctrinated by the tribal run public school system from childhood onward to ignore what their senses tell them and to reason with their emotions instead -“feelings” are facts for them and they are completely impervious to any evidence based arguments to the contrary.

        I think at this point in time, anyone who still preaches the progressive egalitarian line is not worth saving anyway. Any critical thinking skills they might have been born with were sucked out of their brains long ago, and at this late stage in the game, even if they were to be won over, the fact they straggled for so long means they would always be at risk for starting this sh*t up all over again in the future. And that can’t be allowed to happen.

        • TruthBeTold

          I just saw some tweets written by a white guy beaten and robbed by a group of blacks in Ferguson. He was there to ‘help the cause’.

          Even after being beaten up, he said in his tweets that he still going to support the cause because the people who beat him beat him because they were the ones who were beaten down.

          People on AR keep saying these people need to experience black behavior. Even when they do they still blame themselves.

          ‘Progressive’ liberals are a lost cause.

          • Teresa Nichols

            That’s why the string pullers like to start them young with the brain washing. They’re so programmed that even harm to themselves doesn’t seem to wake them up.

            What scares the hell out of me is that there are so many of them. They like to gang up on anyone with an opposing viewpoint and pummel them into silence with their name calling and spurious arguments to give the impression that their outlook is the only one.
            That’s why I’m starting to speak up more and more on forums.

  • anony

    Our teachers simply are not doing their jobs!! How dare they pay so little attention to the black students that these students cannot do the tests. Those teachers are committing racism. Fire them immediately.

  • TruthBeTold

    I’m concerned about the gap between Whites and Asians.

    Do schools have any plans to close this gap?

    • Peter Connor

      Asians test well,with Tiger moms, but tend to be conformist. So Whites win the Nobel prizes.

      • Ultimate187

        It’s more environment than cultural. Asian-Americans have won Nobel prizes, and the Japanese also have their share too. Asia’s largest country China, has few if any, because they didn’t have the resources or political stability to do research until the last 30 years or so.

    • Manaphy

      Not if they can’t blame whites for racism.

  • APaige

    I thought the Asian score would be higher; lower population, high IQ, test fetish, cultural pressure, etc.
    Can anyone explain the huge drop in the score of Pacific Islanders? Average 32 down to 24 in 2 years?

    • journey

      That’s another useless group, Pacific Islanders.

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      Perhaps a refinement in the definition of “Pacific Islander”? Filipinos or Indonesians of Chinese descent tend to be as smart as Chinese, did they get reclassified? That sort of thing.

    • Ultimate187

      Not all Asians are academic stars. People think they are because we tend to hear about the really high achieving ones rather the ones who struggle. As far as statistics are concerned, Pacific Islanders are usually grouped with Asians and I’m surprised they were classified separately here.

    • Uncle_Dan

      Remember, these averages pertain to those who took the test, not to the entire group. A large increase in test takers may bring in more marginal students.

  • journey

    data among the endless others that blacks and Hispanics are not the future of
    this country. No endless money/preschool,
    etc thrown at them will increase their low IQ.
    Their population % should be kept at a bare minimal. The borders and this country should be closed
    to third world migration

    • TruthBeTold

      More funding for Head Start?

      • journey

        Heck, NO! Zero return on the tax dollars.

      • Germanicus

        Algorithm of the Minority Hegemony: “When you lose the intelligence and productivity game, flip the board violently into the air and have a tantrum, soil yourself, and pout. When that fails in any meanjngful way by itself alone, buy yourself a nice lawyer, congresswoman, professor, journalist, bureaucrat, sport star, actress, union thug, and Head Start brainwasher by promising your brainless allegiance to their anti-European, anti-Christian ends. Repeat from beginning.”

  • MekongDelta69

    It’s IQIQIQ… Sorry, I meant it’s, ‘racism,’ ‘racism,’ ‘racism.’

    • Peter Connor

      No, it’s IQ.

      • MekongDelta69

        I was kidding

  • Rhialto

    Liberal explanation:
    The cause is the nano-Racist attitudes of the teachers. These radiate subliminal signals that the sensitive African and Hispanic-Americans receive and subcoonsciously assimilate. This interferes with the assimilation of the course material.

    • MBlanc46

      “Nano-racism”. Love it.

      • Noone

        That will be a thing soon.

    • Uncle_Dan

      Asians too stupid to pick up the signals?

      • Rhialto

        Liberal explanation:
        The cause is the milli-Admiration attitudes of the teachers. These radiate signals that the sensitive Asian students receive and subconsciously assimilate. This enhances their assimilation of the course material.

        • Uncle_Dan

          Thanks for clearing that up. Different wavelength, different signals.

  • ZB01

    What should be of major concern is the 51% of Whites who are not doing so well. Look: the blacks are not going to improve substantially, barring a miracle and finagling of results; it’s a waste of $ to argue otherwise. But the Whites are the backbone of this society. What has gone wrong should be the $17trillion question (that figure was chosen for a reason!)

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      What should be of major concern are the 51% of Whites who are not doing so well
      And they’re not just Whites but college-bound Whites. Lowering standards through affirmative action is hurting everyone. In the past you could at least count on your White or Asian doctor passing tough tests, but it’s dumbed down for everyone now.

    • Copenhagen23

      It sure is a concern. I grew up in a rural White area and I was able to score above average on the ACT. I was not an exemplary student in High School and I do not consider myself to be gifted intellectually. I even have some degree of learning disability.

  • tancred guiscard

    I got 27 a decade ago. What with prolific liberalism among college “professors”, i sure am glad i forewent that costly endeavor, considering what they have a propensity to profess… Although more disposable income would be appreciated, in opposed to an increasingly wornout body. But like my grandpa said, ” if you’re gonna be stupid, you better have a strong back.”

    • Uncle_Dan

      As the father said, “Four years of college and you still don’t know nothing.” College is definitely overrated, especially, as you point out, with the increasingly biased and ignorant faculty. And don’t knock the School of Hard Knocks. Worked out well for a long list of Americans, from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs.

  • dd121

    If standardized test scores go up for blacks, they’re cheating. There’s no other explanation. Guaranteed.

    • Paleoconn

      It’s been proven. Their teachers give them more time to complete the test, they help them with some questions, they even rewrite incorrect answers before handing them in. Teachers in Chicago, DC, Atlanta all got nailed. Some did it to earn as high as $75G bonuses.

  • When whites are mixed with blacks and mexicans, the whites tend to sink to their level. I’ve seen this in the intro to economics class I taught to 300 students in a class. Asians keep to themselves more, which helps them rise to the top.

    If only whites would just self-segregate more strongly and reject integration, their scores would be up there with the Asians, many of whom are not that impressive as students.

    • Ultimate187

      Even if white students self-segregated more, that doesn’t mean they would study more.

  • none of your business

    Rather than waste 4 to 6 years and $50,000 to $200,000 on college why not become a court reporter or take a community college course in Microsoft office, or get on the internet and apply for every construction union apprenticeship?

    • Bill

      Construction union apprenticeships actively search for minorities. Typically, the work is very hard and fast paced. So blacks have a high attrition rate, but latinos love the work and high pay.

  • Peter Connor

    Bottom line: most of these lower scoring people should not be in college, they should be starting a career.

  • “And striking racial gaps persist. As in previous years, African Americans and Latinos scored much lower, on average, than their Asian-American and white peers.”

    Year after year they can publish facts like this, and crime differences, and rape differences, and differences in wealth, productivity, creativity, success, etc. Ad-nauseum, showing every time that whites and Asians are at the top, with everyone else trailing behind, with blacks languishing at the rear.

    And every time they scramble to find some explanation, some excuse, some way to blame those at the top for the failures and lackluster performance of those at the bottom. Racism, discrimination, microaggressions, segregation, cultural misunderstanding, Nazi’s, fundamentalists, right wingers, bias, harassment.

    Twisting and turning, coming up with the most convoluted and ridiculous excuses for why they eternally trail behind.

    And the answer is so, so very simple…

    They are inferior. They are not as smart as us, as skilled as us, as creative or courageous or kind or gentle or daring or brave or powerful.

    They are black, they are brown, They trail behind us in test scores because they are stupid. They lead the pack in murder and assault because they are violent. They get the gold medal for rape and torture because they are brutal and primal.

    There is no need for complicated solutions, there is no band-aid that will “fix” them, there is no barrier holding them back which we can remove.

    They are filth, and every day that goes by, and this stupid, constant oppressive charade goes by, I find my heart filled just a little bit more with vile, pure hatred for them all…

  • You’re missing a pretty big factor. Upper middle class whites are typically upper middle class because they are more intelligent, and are able ringer, and keep, jobs which require them to be located in or near urban areas.

    The lower class whites are lower class because they are not as intelligent, cannot get, or keep, those higher paying jobs in or near urban areas.

    It has nothing to do with “diversity” making them smarter, as your comment would suggest.

    (And my comment is a generalization, of course, there are plenty of intelligent whites who move to rural areas and are more than willing to take a pay cut to do so, but there is a definite “pooling” of incomes and intellects which is based off of available resources and job opportunities in cities vs rural areas)

  • willbest

    It amazes me that the average ACT score is in the low 20’s on an exam you take in 11th grade that has very little material above the 9th grade level on it.

  • journey

    Thank you for posting this! Excellent. I have posted numerous times on this website why whites are carriers of such high genetic material. This did not happen by accident. But those postings keep getting deleted. For the sake of humanity and this planet, the white gene pool must be protected and preserved. Only the white gene pool can give rise to such peoples as like Telsa, Locke, Jensen, Jefferson, Washington, Rife, etc.

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    Blacks would still fail even if you gave them all the answers.

    If society and especially the education system stopped beating on white kids, they would easily surpass Asians.


  • MoMo

    As a professional I am acutely aware of the double standard. As some or most of you have already deduced one of my degrees is in law. There was an occasion when I was in a large civil trial in which it had become necessary to associate an African-American law firm. At a hearing I wrote out the argument for my African American associate.

    When it came time for arguments my African American associate stood up before the Judge and read my argument WORD FOR WORD. When it was over the defense lawyers (many from Harvard) fell all over themselves telling my Associate how brilliant he was and how I had never seem to grasp the fundamental principles of law. Really. I enjoyed kicking their ass!


  • MikeofAges

    You have a point. Once heard, I did, that there are two ways to succeed. One is to come up with a new idea and make it work. The other is imitate what has been proven successful already. In academics, the template is out there already. Those who follow it, whether they are Asian, White, Latin American, African or African-American succeed to the extent of their abilities.

    Regarding youth in America though, my argument is that, except for those for whom specific arrangements have been made, all are socioeconomically and educationally disadvantaged. The operative idea in our society is, actually, all children left behind, except for those for whom specific arrangements have been made

  • Stutz Bearcat

    It would be interesting to know if there was a difference in scores from descendants of Northern European and Southern.

  • Stutz Bearcat

    Actually all you would have to do is make it mandatory for all successful whites to have at least one child. High functioning whites aren’t having kids anymore to pass on their genes.

  • Uncle_Dan

    That’s true, but 4 years of dealing with the real world is worth something, too.

    Consider my experience, for example. In 1935, I ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936, I fought in Spain, on the Loyalist side, and I got well paid for it on both occasions. I won’t comment on those rumors that I absconded with the church funds, ran off with a senator’s wife, or killed a man before opening this Cafe in Casablanca, but ever since hiring Sam, it’s been quite successful.