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Test results improve

More students pass assessment exams, score higher on SATs

More students pass assessment exams, score higher on SATs

August 28, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Washington County Public Schools officials say that the percentage of students passing High School Assessments has increased, and the county's SAT results also have improved.

In 2007, students outperformed last year's results in algebra, English, biology and government.

Students who entered high school in 2005-06 and who are expected to graduate in 2009 are the first group of students who must take and pass the High School Assessments in order to receive a Maryland high school diploma, according to Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction Donna Hanlin.

School officials will hold a news conference today to release additional information about those exams and student achievement on the SAT.

The percentage of high school students who passed the High School Assessments algebra exam increased to 89.2, up from 88.2 percent last year, schools officials said.

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The most significant gain was seen in English, and students passed 77.3 percent of the 1,649 tests that were taken. In 2006, students passed just 66.5 percent of their English exams.

Of the 1,613 biology assessments taken in 2007, 80.3 percent were passed. That was a slight increase from 2006 when 80.1 percent of students passed, officials said.

In 2007, students passed 86.6 percent of the government exams taken in Washington County Public Schools, an increase from the 80.5 percent that were passed in 2006.

Hanlin said the school system saw similar improvement in SAT scores, and in the number of students taking that aptitude test.

"Increased SAT scores give kids more opportunities," said Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

The SAT includes sections in critical reading, math and writing. Scores in each section range from 200 to 800.

The average verbal score for seniors in Washington County during the 2006-07 school year was 495, up four points from the average of 491 during the 2005-06 school year, officials said. This year's results were just below the state average of 500 points for reading and the national average of 502.

The average score in the math section was 520, officials said, up one point from the previous year. Students can take the test multiple times; the scores used are the last SAT taken by seniors.

The county's math average is higher than both the state (502) and national average (515), officials said.

Students' average score in the SAT's writing section was 491 - up 4 points from the average in 2006. The state average in 2007 was 496, and the national average in writing was 494.

Taking the combined average of all three sections, the average SAT score of a Washington County student was 1,506.

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