School District SAT score drops 56 points

  • Friday, September 28, 2012

  • Updated Friday, September 28, 2012 5:15 am

Georgetown County seniors who took the most recent SAT test saw a considerable drop in the scores compared with 2011 but local school officials note there were more test-takers this year.
In the district, SAT scores declined by 56 points this year.
“However, 45 more students took the test” this year than in 2011, said Patti Hammel, executive director for Student Performance and Federal Programs.
When the scores from the four high schools were averaged, the district’s overall score dropped from 1420 last year to 1364 this year.
The SAT tests the knowledge of students in the areas of critical reading, math and writing where 800 in each category is a perfect score.
Overall in reading, the district’s score dropped from 468 to 454; Math dropped from 486 to 474; and writing dropped from 466 to 436.
“Many of this year’s class — due to its accessibility — took this test a number of times. The report only shares the score from the final test administered,” Hammel said.
Despite the drop, one school in the county — Waccamaw High — scored above the state average. Eighty-seven percent of Waccamaw High seniors took the exam and earned an average score of 1,459. WHS also saw the biggest decrease in scores with a 75 point drop.
In writing, Waccamaw’s score dropped from 504 to 470, reading fell from 511 to 484 and the math score was 505, down from 519.
The state average was 1,422 — down five points. The national average score was 1,498.

Other schools

• Andrews High saw scores drop 52 points, from 1,319 to 1,267. Reading fell from 428 to 419; Math decreased from 469 to 439 and writing dropped from 421 to 409.
• Georgetown High saw a 66 point decrease — from 1,341 to 1,275 — with a 14 point drop in reading, a 13 point drop in math and a 39 point fall in writing.
• Carvers Bay High was the only school in the district to see its average score increase. However, ten fewer students took the test this year. The school’s average rose by five points from 1,333 to 1,338. In reading, the average rose from 427 to 445; in math scores rose from 473 to 485 but writing scores dropped from 433 to 408.
Hammel said the district is continuing to “carefully monitor the progress of its graduating classes in many ways.”
She said many students chose their best attempts from each of the three sections of the test to submit to colleges and universities. Waccamaw High School continued to outpace the state average for this assessment.
“After participating in the Princeton Review Program for a number of years, Georgetown School District has begun doing more teacher-directed instruction in the SAT Workshop Classrooms. We were not observing the number of students utilizing the online prep to help improve their scores. Therefore, we know there is no substitute for face-to-face rigorous instruction,” Hammel said. “Anytime you find the number of test takers increasing there is usually a decline in the overall averages.  Last year GCSD administered a practice SAT to the sophomores in hopes that it would give students defined areas of strengths and weaknesses to make the necessary adjustments.”
She said the district is encouraging more rigorous coursework before taking this particular college entrance exam.
“Also, we encourage our parents and students to make sure that they are taking the required exams for the institution they plan to attend.  We will continue to encourage families to have their students participate in online programs offered through the South Carolina Virtual School,” Hammel concluded.

By Scott Harper
sharper@gtowntimes.com

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