ROSEVILLE – For the ninth year in a row, Minnesota high school seniors were top in the nation on the ACT. Minnesota seniors posted an average score of 22.9, compared to the nationwide average of 21. Additionally, more Minnesota students met each of the four benchmarks—English, Reading, Math and Science—than did students in any other state, 39 percent compared to 26 percent nationally.
"I congratulate Minnesota students, teachers, and administrators on this tremendous accomplishment," said Governor Mark Dayton. "These nation-leading scores demonstrate to the entire country the academic ability of Minnesota students, the dedication of our teachers, and the world-class quality of our education system."
"One of the best indicators we have to show that our students are prepared for career and college is the ACT," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. "And for nine straight years our students have outperformed the nation. It is an incredible achievement that would not be possible without Minnesota’s dedicated teachers and students."
The data come from ACT’s yearly report, "The Condition of College and Career Readiness." This year’s report shows that for Minnesota’s class of 2014, 45,305 students—or 76 percent—took the ACT. This number is up 2 percent from 2010. Nationwide, 1.8 million students—or 57 percent—took the ACT last year.
This coming school year, all Minnesota juniors will take the ACT, free of charge, as part of new graduation requirements approved by the 2013 Legislature. This move will not only help open up post-secondary as a real possibility for every child in the state, it will also provide important information to educators on whether students are career and college ready.
"Minnesota students understand the importance of the ACT and are motivated to score well. They know what score they need to get into their desired post-secondary institution. That is why we have been top of the nation for almost a decade." Cassellius said. "By moving to a testing system where every student takes the ACT, we will break down barriers of access and ensure every child leaves high school with a score they can use for acceptance and placement at a post-secondary institution."
According to the report, 91 percent of students who took the ACT indicated that they aspired to some form of post-secondary education. Also, 9 percent of the students who were tested would be the first in their family to attend post-secondary.
"Just as important as getting Minnesota students to enroll in a postsecondary institution, is moving them to completion," said Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "Having all high school students take the ACT will help them understand how well they are prepared for a postsecondary education that fits their needs and interests."
The national and state ACT Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014 reports can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.act.org/readiness/2014.