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ACT report shows Latino students want to academically succeed but face challenges out of their control

LatinaLista — It’s one thing for adults to stress the importance of education to young people but quite another when students realize it for themselves — and it seems Latino students are slowly but surely getting that message.


In their yearly report The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2011 released today by ACT, the findings reveal that students taking the ACT is at an all-time high. Forty-nine percent of the entire US graduating class signed up for the tests. Latino students are part of that mix.

In fact, test statistics show that more Latino students are aspiring to go to college. Unfortunately, too many just don’t have the skills necessary to succeed.

According to the report, 45 percent of Latino test takers in the 2011 graduating class failed to meet any of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks — that’s the bad news.

The good news is there is a 27 percent increase over last year in Latino students taking the ACT tests. More than 200,000 Latino graduates (200,661) took the ACT test in 2011. However, Latino students only comprised 12 percent of the overall ACT test takers. Still dismally low when factored in that Latino students are 18 percent of all high school graduates.

So what does this report tell us?

For starters, it shows that more and more Latino students realize that higher education is essential for the kind of quality of life they want for themselves in the future.

It also shows that if these particular Latino students (the ACT test takers) are failing to pass just the basic skill benchmarks necessary to get through college, then a whole lot more Latino students, who didn’t take the test, are suffering the same fate — and possibly worse.

The ACT test shows that educators need to get serious about evaluating the effectiveness of their curriculums and teachers in teaching Latino students, and Latino students learning.

The ACT test shows that the Latino community and families must start actively advocating for a better educational approach that doesn’t leave so many students behind.

The real tragedy is that the 45 percent of students who took the ACT test and failed all the sections want to succeed but the system is obviously holding them back.

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