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County SAT scores about the same as last year

September 03, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

SAT scores reported for Washington County Public Schools students were essentially the same in 2004 as they were in 2003, but Deputy Schools Superintendent Patricia Abernethy said she believes students can do better.

The scores are those of students who were seniors during the past school year, Abernethy said.

Efforts will continue to increase the number of students who take the test and to achieve higher scores on the test, she said.

The number of Washington County Public Schools students taking the SAT increased from 620 in 2003 to 725 in 2004, according to information released this week by Supervisor of Testing and Accountability Lenny Lock. About 53 percent of students in the class of 2004 took the SAT, Lock reported.

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The average verbal scores increased from 501 to 505, while average math scores dropped from 525 to 523, Abernethy said.

Abernethy said school system officials will focus on trends, including a nearly 10-point increase in verbal scores over the past three years.

Students whose scores were reported for the past school year achieved an average combined score of 1028 on the college entrance exam, up from 1026 in 2002-03.

The highest score possible on the SAT is 1600.

"We are appreciative of the efforts teachers have taken in supporting student achievement on the scores themselves over the past few years," Abernethy said.

The county's math scores have exceeded the state and national averages since 1998, Lock said.

"Our students are definitely competitive on this national academic benchmark for college and university admissions," Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said in a school system news release.

This year's high school juniors, students in the class of 2006, are scheduled to take a new SAT in March 2005, the College Board said in a news release. The new test will include a writing section with a student-written essay, higher-level math and more reading passages, the release said.

The College Board scores are an average of the last scores received by Washington County students on the SAT. Some students take the test more than once.

Washington County Public Schools officials analyze all county students' scores to identify their highest scores, or what they call their "best take" on the SAT, Abernethy said.

The average of the last score reported by the College Board for Washington County is 505 for verbal and 523 for math.

The average of the "best take" reported for Washington County is 511 for verbal and 531 for math, Abernethy said.

The average "best take" from last year was 512 for verbal and 534 for math, she said.

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