BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The number of Louisiana public school students taking the ACT college admissions test has jumped by roughly 11,000, now that the state requires high school students to take the exam - and the number scoring high enough to attend college without remedial work jumped by 3,600 this year.
Louisiana's Department of Education says students with ACT scores of 18 or higher can attend four-year and two-year colleges without a requirement for remedial courses.
Last year, more than 18,000 seniors scored 18 or higher out of nearly 26,000 with ACT scores. This year, nearly 22,000 posted an 18 or higher out of approximately 37,000 tested.
Education Superintendent John White said in a statement that the expanded ACT testing provides opportunity for post-high school training and education that many didn't have before.
In a news release Wednesday, the department touted the new figures as representing "a 20 percent increase in college eligible students."
While not all of those students will go to college, state officials have said Louisiana joined the ranks of states requiring all public school students to take the ACT test because it provides students with a needed opportunity to measure educational progress and college readiness, while giving the state another means of measuring schools' effectiveness.
"This is about opportunity, especially for those students too long denied it," White said. "Some students may go directly to college. Some may pursue technical training. Others may enter the workforce and go back to school one day. The point is that they have these ACT scores in their pockets. Their right to continue their education can never be taken away."
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