There's an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune about ACT scores in Utah. Traditionally, Utah has bragged about its ACT scores. They're also used as a handy excuse for why, say, Jordan School District pays beginning teachers a mere $27,000 a year. The reasoning goes like this: Utah does very well academically, even without pouring more money into education...so obviously pouring money into education doesn't help students do better.
Problem is, that information is false. It turns out, if we compare the ACT scores of whites in Utah to whites elsewhere, Utah is below average. Also, a lower percentage of students in Utah take the test, when compared to other states. When we look closely at the data, Utah is actually under-performing.
Utah only does better when we don't take race into account, or the fact that some other states require all graduating seniors (and not just college-bound ones) to take the ACT.