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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s public schools chief says the state is ready to require a college entrance exam for high school juniors in March to determine whether students are learning curricula and are prepared for college.

Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson says her department has cobbled together funds to offer ACT tests to the roughly 100,000 11th graders. Atkinson told a legislative committee Tuesday the first test will serve as a baseline for future classes.

Atkinson says the new effort includes 10th graders taking an ACT pretest and seniors following a vocational or technical path to be assessed on skills. The News & Observer of Raleigh first reported Atkinson’s comments.

The $5.5 million needed for the effort will come from unused funds or money saved if a writing test is eliminated.

Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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