More Rockdale County Public School students took the SAT and ACT tests but scored significantly lower on average this year than last year on the SATs and about the same on ACTs, according to results recently released by the Georgia Department of Education and the College Board.
The number of SAT test takers increased by 7 percent, from 543 last year to 581 this year. The average SAT score dropped to 1405, or 58 points lower than last year.
The number of ACT test takers similarly jumped about 11 percent from 476 to 526. The average score was 20.2, or about less than a point below last year’s score.
"We are pleased that more students are taking these standardized tests," said RCPS Superintendent Dr. Samuel King. "Our goal is that as more students enroll in AP courses, and as we continue to increase rigor in all content areas, that test scores will improve and we will be successful in closing the achievement gap."
Within subgroups, RCPS students scored above the national average of 1509, with the exception of the black and Hispanic subgroups; however, the Black subgroup score, 1294, was above the nation in its peer group, 1279, but the score gap between these test-takers and the overall national average is too large. Additionally, the black subgroup had the highest number of test takers as compared to all other subgroups.
"We realize there is much work to be done to continue to improve education for all students. It is our goal that every student in every subgroup has the opportunity to achieve at his or her highest level," said Dr. King. "Our students, teachers, parents, and administrators will continue to strive for excellence as we encourage more and more students to enroll in advanced classes and participate in more rigorous coursework."
Heritage High School’s average SAT scores rose by four points this year while Rockdale County High School score average dropped 72 points and Salem High School’s score average dropped 94 points.
For Heritage, the biggest gain was in the verbal portion of the test, where the score average rose 6 points. The math average dropped by 3 points and the writing portion gained 1 point. The number of students who took the test generally held steady at 182 test takers, compared to 191
At Rockdale County High School, the number of those who took the test swelled from 163 to 212 students. The math portion average had the biggest drop of 29 points, followed by the writing portion, 22 points, and the verbal portion, 21 points.
Salem High School had fewer test takers this year - 187 compared to 199 students last year. Their average SAT score dropped the most on the writing portion, 35 points, followed by the math, 31 points, and verbal portion, 28 points.
Average SAT scores for Georgia dropped in 2009 by six points to 1,460, or 49 points below the national average. This was also the third consecutive year the state’s average SAT score decreased.
However, the national average dropped this year by two points to 1,509. A perfect score on the SAT, which is administered by the College Board, is 2,400.