Nearly three in 10 recent graduates who took the ACT college entrance exam failed to meet a single benchmark that predicts they are ready for college.
Still, members of the high school class of 2011 posted a slight gain on the ACT exam and 25 percent of ACT test-takers met the college-readiness standard in the four core subjects of English, math, reading and science. That restores the national average to where it was in 2009.
Scores for minority students, excluding Asian Americans, were generally short of the national average.
Only 4 percent of black students met the college-readiness standards for all four subjects, compared to 31 percent for whites, 15 percent for Pacific Islanders, and 11 percent for Hispanics and American Indians.
By contrast, 41 percent of Asian Americans topped the preparedness standards in all four subjects.
Policymakers are calling for more rigorous high school courses.