ETHS test scores: Big gaps remain

Evanston Township High School students are doing better on the ACT test than they did five years ago, but dramatic differences persist among racial and ethnic groups.
A report presented to the District 202 school board this week shows that white, black and Latino students are all performing at least a fraction of a point better, but that 
{"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Ah8GN1RjZrWSdDZheWpHSF9xU3dGd3R6OGxDckJuSEE&transpose=1&headers=1&range=A1%3AF4&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"vAxes":[{"title":"Composite score","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":0,"viewWindowMode":"pretty","viewWindow":{"min":0,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":"pretty","viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"title":"ETHS composite ACT scores","curveType":"","booleanRole":"certainty","animation":{"duration":500},"legend":"bottom","lineWidth":2,"hAxis":{"title":"Year","useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"tooltip":{},"width":600,"height":371},"state":{},"view":{},"chartType":"LineChart","chartName":"Chart 1"}
Latino students showed the most improvement, gaining 1.2 points from the 2008 to 2012 exams. White students increased their average score by 0.6 points. Black students showed a 0.4 point gain. 
ETHS students in all groups scored better on the ACT than the national and state averages, but the differences were much greater for white students.
While black sudents at ETHS scored 1 point better than the national average in 2012 and Latino students did 0.4 points better, white students scored 5.2 points better.
Comparing test results for the EXPLORE exam that students take as 8th graders with the ACT test showed white students making greater progress in high school.
For example, on the English portion of the exams, white students gained 8.8 points, black students gained 4.2 points and Latino students gained 4.1 points.
Related document
School Achievement Report 2011-12

Topic: 

Comments

Congratulations ETHS! All groups show improvement!

All groups heading in the right direction - UP! And ALL groups still better than both the State and National Averages! Stand up and be proud for the progress made and continue on the path of hard, great work. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to reduce the Gap and we won't stop until we do.

Two questions

Why would Juniors or Seniors in high school who are not going to college care about doing well on the ACT test?  The test is given to all high school students.  Unlike the Explore test the results have absolutely no consequence for students who are not planning to go to college.  So what is being measured by test that a fair proportion of students have no reason to care about?
On the issue of race, black girls do better than black boys.  Girls generally do better, but the gap is bigger for black students.  Black girls are on average are still scoring lower then the other students on average, but the gender gap suggests something is going on that is different from race, or the situation at home.  Will someone who is in the school admininstration figure this out so the issue is not cast as simply black and white in the general public discussion?