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Rockdale SAT scores drop as more students take test
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2011 SAT scores for RCPS

2011 data listed first, followed by the change from 2010 results in parenthesis

National average: 1500 (-6)
Georgia average: 1445 (-8)
RCPS average: 1349 (-50)

Heritage High School:
Number of test takers: 256 (+23)
Reading mean: 472 (-27)
Math mean: 473 (-14)
Writing mean: 455 (-29)

Rockdale County High School (not including Magnet school)
Number of test takers: 253 (+54)
Reading mean: 440 (-12)
Math mean: 430 (-11)
Writing mean: 416 (-15)

Salem High School
Number of test takers: 214 (+2)
Reading mean: 453 (-14)
Math mean: 436 (-15)
Writing mean: 439 (-7)


Rockdale ACT scores down as more students take test (Aug. 19, 2011)

Rockdale students score below state in SATs (Sept. 15, 2010)

Rockdale subgroups score above national subgroups on ACT (Aug 19, 2010)

SAT scores drop in county, ACT holds steady (Aug. 25, 2009)


Top 10 Institutions Receiving Scores from Georgia SAT Takers:
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA                         


Georgia high school students fared worse on the SAT college-entrance exam for the fifth year in a row, according to a report released Wednesday. 

All three Rockdale high schools also scored worse in the reading, math, and writing portions on this year's SAT tests compared to last year as the number of test takers swelled.

The state's average score on the test was 1445, out of a possible 2400, an eight-point drop from last year. The state also lags behind the national average score of 1500, which dropped six points from the year before.

The RCPS average score was 1349, a 50 point drop from last year's unofficial average.

State-wide the number of test-takers increased to 72,510, up 14 percent from 66,000 in 2010. Typically, states with larger pools of test-takers have lower scores, particularly in states like Georgia with large minority populations that historically do not perform as well on the exam as their white classmates.

RCPS mirrored the state in the increased number of test-takers. There were 23 more test takers at Heritage and 54 more at Rockdale County High School, not including Magnet school students, and two more at Salem.

This year, the scoring gap closed slightly between Georgia's black and white students from 279 last year to 272 this year.

In math, Georgia students scored 487, a three-point drop from 2010. The critical reading score was 485, down three points from last year. The state's mean writing score was 473, down two points.

RCPS students scored 440 in writing, 451 in math, and 458 in reading on average.

Heritage scored the best in the system, an overall average of 1400, but saw the biggest drop. The average in reading was 472, down 27 points from last year, 473 in math, down 14 points, and 455 in writing, down 29.

Salem's average was 1328, with 453 in reading, down 14 from last year, 436 in math, down 15, and 439 in writing, down 7.

RCHS's average, without including Magnet student scores, was 1270. RCHS students scored 440 in reading, down 12, 430 in math, down 11, and 416 in writing, down 15.

Magnet students averaged 1792, with 458 in reading, 451 in math, and 440 in writing.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education, this year's crop of test-takers was the largest and most diverse group of seniors to take the test in Georgia history. The SAT participation rate for the class of 2011 was 80 percent, up six percent from last year — making Georgia fifth in the nation in the percentage of high school seniors taking the SAT.

The number of minority students in Georgia taking the test also rose one point to 46 percent in 2011. State Superintendent John Barge noted Georgia has very high minority participation on the SAT and the achievement gap affects overall SAT scores more than most other states.

"The good news for Georgia is that our achievement gap is much smaller than the nation's," Barge said. "The bad news is that we still have an achievement gap that must be closed."

“Our scores are certainly not where we want them to be,” said Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Samuel King. “We want all of our students to aspire to attend college; however, there are necessary steps students must take in order to be prepared for the SAT and other college entrance exams. Rigorous coursework and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are essential to success on standardized tests and with higher education."

Nationally, scores on the critical reading portion of the SAT college entrance exam fell three points to their lowest level on record last year, and combined reading and math scores reached their lowest point since 1995. The College Board said the results reflect the record number of students from the high school class of 2011 who took the exam and the growing diversity of the test-taking pool — particularly Hispanics.

The SAT is developed, administered and scored by the College Board. The SAT is designed to test the subject matter learned by students in high school and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college. The test has three sections — critical reading, mathematics and writing — each worth 800 points, for a highest possible score of 2,400.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.



Georgia Department of Education:

The College Board: