Coweta SAT scores 24 points above state
From Staff Reports
Coweta County high schools’ average score in 2012 on the SAT was 1476, which was 24 points above the state of Georgia’s average of 1452.
SAT score averages for Coweta’s three high schools, the state of Georgia and the nation as a whole were released by the College Board this week. The averages reported in the accompanying chart provide the Verbal, Math and Writing section averages, which have a maximum value of 800 points each. The writing portion of the exam was added in 2006.
The Georgia Department of Education noted that 2012 saw the largest and most diverse group of graduating seniors in Georgia’s history take the SAT. The SAT participation rate for the Georgia class of 2011 was 81 percent, a one percent increase from the year before.
Coweta high schools saw similar participation levels, with 815 students taking the SAT during the year, up from 768 student test-takers in 2011.
In 2012, 356 students took the SAT from East Coweta High - up from 335 in 2011; 198 students took the SAT from Newnan High - staying the same as 2011; and 261 took the SAT from Northgate High - up from 235 in 2011,
State Department of Education officials also note that student completion of a core curriculum and pursuit of rigorous course work are two critical components of college readiness, and the students who do so tend to perform better on the SAT.
Georgia students who completed a core curriculum — defined as four or more years of English, three or more years of mathematics, three or more years of natural science, and three or more years of social science and history — did better on the SAT than those who did not complete a core curriculum.
Of all 2012 Georgia SAT takers those who completed core curriculum showed scores on Reading - 499, Mathematics - 500, and Writing - 485. Those who did not complete core curriculum scored on Reading - 459, Mathematics - 459, and Writing - 447. That is a difference on the Reading portion of 40 points, on Mathematics of 41 points, and on the Writing portion of 38 points.
The SAT is a college entrance exam that 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 2400.
Georgia saw gains as participation increased and national scores decreased, according to state education officials.
The SAT scores of Georgia’s 2012 senior class increased seven points as the nation’s scores decreased two points, according to the College Board’s 2012 SAT report.
Increases were seen even as the rate of students taking the test increased by one percentage point to 81 percent, compared to the national average test-taking rate of only 31 percent. Georgia has the seventh highest participation rate in the nation, said state officials. States with higher participation rates typically see lower average scores on the SAT and often see dips when the number of students taking the exam increases, said state education officials.
Of the state’s 2012 college-bound seniors who took the SAT, 47 percent were minority students, up from 46 percent in 2011 and 39 percent in 2007.
Georgia’s students scored 1,452 on the SAT, a seven point increase from 2011. The national average was 1,498, a two point decrease from 2011.
“I’m extremely pleased that SAT scores increased so much this year,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “We jumped ahead of several states in our overall score, even as we saw our participation rate continue to increase.”
Minority students in Georgia’s schools continue to outperform their peers across the country on the SAT. The 2012 SAT report shows that African-American and Hispanic students in Georgia are outperforming those subgroups nationally.
Georgia’s African-American students outscored their counterparts nationwide on two of the three SAT subsections. Mean critical reading scores for Georgia’s African-American students are three points higher and mean writing scores are two points higher than that of African-American students nationwide.
Hispanic students in Georgia’s schools outperformed their counterparts nationwide on all three of the SAT subsections. Mean critical reading scores for Georgia’s Hispanic students are 22 points higher, mean mathematics scores are 11 points higher, and mean writing scores are 14 points higher than Hispanic students nationwide.
The difference between the scores of African-American and white students — called “the achievement gap” — is 270 points in Georgia, which is 35 points smaller than the achievement gap nationwide of 305, noted state education officials. The gap between the scores of Hispanic and white students in Georgia is 148 points, 78 points lower than the nation (226).
It is common for states that have high participation to have lower mean scores compared to states that have a very low participation rate, said state education officials. Media and others often rank states, districts and schools on the basis of SAT scores despite repeated warnings that such rankings are invalid, they said.
The SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, but it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other non-school factors can have a significant effect on scores. If ranked, schools and states that encourage students to apply to college may be penalized because scores tend to decline with a rise in percentage of test-takers, they said.
Among other Georgia statistics on the SAT results:
The top ten institutions receiving scores from Georgia SAT takers are: University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Valdosta State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of West Georgia, Georgia College and State University, Auburn University, and North Georgia College and State University.
Among the SAT takers in Georgia’s class of 2012 who responded to optional questions about their college plans:
– 32 percent of students indicated plans to attain a bachelor’s degree.
– 52 percent indicated plans to attain a more advanced (master’s or doctoral) degree.
– 77 percent indicated that they planned to apply for financial aid.