Report Highlights Inequities in Education of Black Students

December 10, 2015

A report released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation examines inequities in education of African-American students across the country. While the report mainly focuses on kindergarten through 12th grade, it also examines racial differences in graduation rates and the rates of college readiness.

The report takes a state-by-state approach in its examination of graduation rates, ACT scores, Advanced Placement tests and college remediation rates. In partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the report found a mismatch between high school graduation rates and college readiness.

"Graduation rates for African-American students range from 84 percent in Texas to 57 percent in both Nevada and Oregon," according to the report. "But, according to the ACT, the percentage of African-American students who are college ready in all four tested subjects (English, math, reading and science) ranges from 17 percent in Massachusetts to only 3 percent in Mississippi."

The report acknowledges that the ACT isn't the perfect barometer for measuring the discrepancy between the numbers, because not every high school graduate is planning to attend college.

"But college preparedness rates that equal only one-tenth of the graduation rate seem extreme," the report states, adding that the information will better help states, school systems and colleges address educational shortcomings that disproportionately affect black students.

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