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SAT scores rise, but still below average
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SAT RESULTS for the Senior Class of 2012

Group; # Test Takers; Critical Reading; Math; Writing

Alcovy; 200 (+18); 445 (-10); 428 (-12); 434 (+2)

Eastside; 190 (+26); 489 (+8); 470 (+12); 470 (+4)

Newton; 214 (-11); 443 (+15); 430 (+4); 427 (+5)

NCSS; 605 (+32); 458 (+6); 442 (+2); 443 (+5)

Georgia; 73,187 (+677); 488 (+3); 489 (+2); 475 (+2)

Nation; 1,664,479 (+17,356); 496 (-1); 514 (=); 488 (-1)

(Number in parenthesis indicates change over preceding year.)


Students taking the SATs in Newton County have once again shown an increase, outpacing the state in reading and writing.

Two of the three Newton County high schools (Alcovy and Eastside) along with the county as a whole, the state and the nation increased in the number of test takers in 2012. Newton showed a slight decline, with 11 less students taking the test than last year.

Alcovy had an increase of 18 and Eastside of 26. The school system had 32 more students total, while the state had 677 and the nation 17,356.

Numbers increased in critical reading scores at Eastside (+8), Newton (+15), the NCSS (+6) and the state (+3). They decreased at Alcovy (-10) and the nation (-1).

Math scores increased at Eastside (+12), Newton (+4) and the state (+2), remained the same at the nationwide level and decreased at Alcovy (-12).

Finally, in writing, Newton scores increased at Alcovy (+2), Eastside (+4), Newton (+5), the county (+5) and the state (+2), decreased nationwide (-1).

"Overall, we're pleased that the scores are up for each subject tested on the SAT for the district as a whole," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "Indeed, our increases last year outpaced that of the state and nation in reading and writing and equaled that in math. That said, as I've noted previously, the system has a ways to go on this college admissions test. The lag we see was not born overnight and will take years of further progress to overcome."

Although the district showed gains from last year in all categories, scores in the county were below that of the state and the nation in all categories.Newton High School Principal Craig Lockhart said there is still much work to be done at NHS in regards to SAT scores.

"We are proud of the number of students who choose to take advantage of the opportunity to test," he said. "Our scores are beginning to reflect the extra tutorial time that teachers and students have dedicated to preparing for the SAT. We know that it will take years to increase scores to a more satisfactory level, but we are committed to the task."

In neighboring Rockdale County, Salem High School had 188 students taking the SATs, scoring a 449 on critical reading, a 428 on math and a 429 on writing. Rockdale High School had 284 students taking the SATs, scoring a 458 on critical reading, a 454 on math and a 441 on writing. Correct numbers for Heritage High School were not available as of press time.

In Walton County, there were 223 students at Loganville High School who took the SATs, scoring a 465 in critical reading, a 469 in math and a 445 in writing. At Monroe Area High School, there were 130 test takers, scoring a 427 on critical reading, a 425 on math and a 420 in writing. Finally, at Walnut Grove High School, there were 172 test takers, scoring a 465 on both critical reading and math and a 453 in writing.

In a statement on the SATs, State School Superintendent John Barge said, "We jumped ahead of several states in our overall score, even as we saw our participation rate continue to increase."

Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800. The highest score possible is a 2400. It is designed to test the subject matter learned by students in high school and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college.