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ACT scores drop from last year in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Average ACT test scores for Oklahoma students fell from 20.6 last year to 20.4 this year and also trail behind the national average, new statistics show.

"The 2005 ACT report tells us we have a lot of work in better preparing minority students, and in particular, new English language learners for college-entrance exams," state Superintendent Sandy Garrett said in a news release.

Black students scored the lowest -- an average of 17 -- and Asian Americans scored the highest with an average of 22 out of a possible 36 points, the Iowa-based testing company reported Tuesday.

Hispanics averaged a composite score of 18.4 and whites had a 21.1 average. American Indian students in Oklahoma had an average composite of 19.3, exceeding the American Indian national average of 18.7.

While scores declined, test-taker diversity increased, the report showed. Hispanic test-takers rose 24.2 percent from last year but still make up only 4 percent of this year's test-takers.

The number of black students who took the ACT also increased by 8 percent, and American Indians saw a 1 percent rise.

Black students made up 8 percent of test-takers, American Indians came in at 12 percent, and Asian Americans only 2 percent. Whites were the majority of test-takers with 66 percent, the statistics show.

Over the last five years, the number of white test-takers has fallen 11 percent and the number of Hispanic test-takers has risen 32 percent.

"We are encouraged that more Oklahoma minority students are voluntarily taking the ACT college entrance exam in preparation for higher education and the world of work," Garrett said.

Oklahoma City public schools saw the largest increase in the number of students taking the test of any district in the state with a 53 percent surge, or 333 more students than last year.
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