The Vast Majority of Black High School Graduates Are Not Prepared for College

actcoverThe United Negro College Fund and the American College Testing Program have released a new report, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2014: African American Students. The report finds that African American high school graduates are less prepared for college-level curriculum than students from any other major racial or ethnic group.

The study found that 34 percent of Black high school graduates met college-readiness benchmarks in English. In reading levels, only 16 percent of Black high school graduates were deemed college ready. In mathematics only 14 percent met the college-readiness benchmark and in science the figure was 10 percent. In all four subject areas, Black high school graduates had lower readiness benchmarks than every other racial or ethnic group. In three of the four subject areas, the college-readiness score for Hispanics was double the rate for African Americans.

Only 10 percent of all Black high school graduates met the college-readiness benchmarks in at least three of the four subject areas. For Hispanics the figure was 24 percent and nearly half of all White high school graduates were deemed college ready in at least three of the four subject areas.

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  1. The duplicitous UNCF should be dutifully ashamed for continuing the negative stereotype about native born Black high school students not being “college ready”. This study findings are very flawed and not statistically representative of native born Black high school students. Further, it’s not too surprising the UNCF to coauthor such as study particularly when its receiving millions from the Koch brothers who have a atrocious track record in numerous arenas. My question to both UNCF and the ACT, you need to find out why states that are majority White(Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, the Dakotas, or Wyoming) are not meeting AYP. In other words, what’s their excuse for low academic performance?

  2. This writer questions the validity of the authors’ conclusion here. A key issue not factored here is the large variance between those deemed unready for college yet they get admitted and finish.

  3. I am tired of constantly being bombarded with this same study and same results. Every year the ACT and SAT scores have remained low for African Americans and minorities. As we approach the 21st century in the next 5 years can we learn to approach the measurement of black readiness in a new context. Socioeconomics, test prep, the high school, the grammar school, home environment, and other factors play a role. Why must we continue to be placed under a microscope?? I am even more appalled of the gender gap that keeps increasing amongst the higher echelons of higher education in the STEM fields. We must stop using standardized tests (which are designed by white people) as a rubric for our readiness and aptitude. A genius is more than a standardized brain dead multiple choice or k type formulation.

  4. every year this ACT report serves to underscore what most of us already know: the state of public k-12 education in this country is beyond the abyss. when over half of the most privileged group in the united states — white students — are barely “ready” for higher education, there’s a problem. yet the beat goes on because “underperformance” has always had a black face painted on it. similar to welfare…

  5. The reality of the situation is that many African-American students are doing very well in academics, but this is a country that continues to focus on the negative. It just like William Sankey said, ” A key issue not factored here is the large variance between those deemed unready for college yet they get admitted and finish.” There are many students who aren’t ready academically for college, but they go and realize it is not that much different from high school. They indeed learn and rise up to a higher academic learning environment while in college and go on too graduate. Stop it with this and give a fair and balanced report.

  6. I agree to what the author has written here.Iam a research scholar from India and I find similar situation in India also .Students from Public Institution which is run by the government in the country for the disadvantaged group does not bring any great difference in the life of the student.The non readiness remains as the key issue for the students.

    • It’s quite obvious that you’re not minimally aware of the history of public education in the United States to even remotely compare India, a country mired in poverty, corruption, malnutrition, inadequate public healthcare, terrorism, along with its ” 21st century caste system”. You fail to realize acknowledge that a students academic performance is not solely predicated on his/her intellectual ability, but, more linked to their socialization and intellectual exposure, expectations from immediate family and teachers.

      Further, to even imply that ‘public institutions’ do not provide any type adequate post-secondary education for students haling from the lower SES(socio-economic status) to change their lives is patently false, disingenuous, and intellectually dishonest. Besides, only a person from the Brahmin, Vaishyas, or Shudras group would make such erroneous claims and certainly not a Dalit.

  7. Coming late to the discussion, the point is not the intellectual ability nor capacity of the students, it’s the fact that many come from school systems that are not properly preparing them for collegiate level academics.

    Slam the UNCF but many UNCF schools accept kids who they know, after a stint in remedial classes (usually math and English), can be brought up to speed to be able to compete in a collegiate academic environment.

    Whereas, at the PWCs, it’s sink or swim, either you’re ready or you aren’t.

    How many capable minds have fallen by the wayside because of the latter? . . .

    • Note: the title and article said “Are Not Prepared for College”, not that they didn’t have the ability to be able to do college level academic work! . . .

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