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Solid curriculum closes race/income gap

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The playing field for minority and poor students can be leveled by ensuring all students take a rigorous core curriculum in high school, a study shows.

A report released Monday by American Collect Testing titled, "Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success," concludes racial/ethnic and income gaps may be dramatically reduced when students take classes focusing on essential knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness.

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"Our country has allowed achievement gaps to exist for far too long," said Cynthia B. Schmeiser, ACT education division president and chief operating officer. "The research tells us that academic preparation -- taking rigorous coursework in high school -- is a significant factor in eliminating these intolerable, longstanding inequities."

The study said it analyzed the post-secondary outcomes of tens of thousands of students who had taken the ACT college admission and placement exam in high school. The college outcomes considered included enrollment, need for remediation, first- to second-year retention, course grades, overall grade point average and degree completion, the report said.

ACT's report makes recommendations to close the income and ethnic/racial gaps for college success, including ensuring all students take a core curriculum in high school, focus high school core courses on essential standards for college and make sure high school core courses cover material needed to get the student to college level.

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