Both state of Minnesota and Duluth school district's score averages fell for the national ACT college entrance exam in 2018.

The numbers, published today in a report from ACT, showed both Minnesota and Duluth composite score averages fell to 21.3 out of 36. Duluth scores dropped from 21.7, while state averages went down from 21.5. Despite those drops, the state still outperformed the 18 other states where 90 percent or more students took the college entrance exam.

A deeper look into scores shows students attending Duluth East High School scoring 22.7 on average, while Denfeld High School students scored an average of 19.1.

Looking at the numbers divided by race among those schools show black students scored on average 15.1, while Asian students scored an average of 22.7 - both groups make up a little more than 2 percent of the student body. White students, who number 54 percent of all students recorded an average of 21.9. Students who preferred not to identify by race, which was 31 percent of the student body, scored a 21. Numbers for Native Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islanders and students who identified as two or more races were not available.

The district's highest average in recent years was recorded in 2014-2015, scoring at 23.3. It then dropped to its lowest average the next year, falling to 21.

The national average for ACT scores was 20.8. That's among 55 percent of all 2018 graduates. In Minnesota, 30 percent of graduates met all four ACT college-readiness benchmarks - 3 percent higher than students nationally. Those benchmarks measure whether students are prepared for college-level coursework.

The ACT measures skills thought to be important for success in first-year college courses, and tests students in math, English, reading and science.