ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota retains its top spot among states on the ACT college entrance exam.

According to 2011 ACT results, the state’s high school seniors scored 22.9 out of a possible 36 on the ACT, ranking Minnesota first among 27 states in which at least half of graduates took the exam. The national composite score was 21.2.

This is the ninth straight year that Minnesota students topped the list.

“Clearly, there is much to celebrate. Our overall ACT results reveal a persistent, positive trend, demonstrating students’ capacity to achieve postsecondary success,” said Dr. Sheila Wright, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. “However, while we have much to celebrate, including in incremental gain in results for African-Americans, much more is required to ensure that all students statewide receive equitable support and have what they need for postsecondary attainment. We also need 100 percent participation in the ACT to fully assess where we are.”

More than 70 percent of the state’s high school graduates took the ACT in 2011.

State graduates also finished first in the percentage of students considered college-ready in each of the four subject areas tested — English, math, science and reading. Nearly 40 percent of state graduates tested as proficient on the ACT exam.

Although Minnesota’s overall results are strong, Wright thinks there’s still room for improvement.

“In just two years, 70 percent of the jobs available in Minnesota will require postsecondary education infusing strong technology skills,” Wright said. “We have to ask, are we ready for what lies ahead?”

This academic year, all Minnesota high school juniors will begin taking the ACT under new graduation requirements approved by the Legislature last year.

Wisconsin scored second on the ACT this year with 22.2 out of a possible 36.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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