What is most troubling about the SAT results, though, is that despite the addition of millions of dollars to the school budget, there has been no improvement in this area in the past 10 years. A comparison of SAT results for Washington County for 2009 vs. 1999 is shown in the first table at right.
In addition to the drop in the scores over the past 10 years, it is also of concern that the percentage of seniors taking the SAT in WCPS dropped. In 1999, 53 percent of the seniors took the SAT as opposed to less than 50 percent in 2009.
This 38-point drop in scores and reduction in the participation rate can't be blamed on a lack of funding either. The second table at right compares operating expenses for WCPS for 2009 versus 1999.
So even with the addition of $116 million to the annual operating budget, or an additional $5,000 for each and every student in the school system, this administration has failed to achieve any positive results in this area. They will undoubtedly try and say that the tests were different for these years and that the results can't be compared. If that was the case, though, then the results for Maryland would also be the same for this comparison, but they are not. While Washington County's participation rate fell from 53 percent to 50 percent, the participation rate in the SATs for Maryland actually increased during this time frame from 65 percent to 69 percent. Even with this significant rise in the participation rate for Maryland, its overall scores fell by only 16 points, less than half the drop that Washington County experienced.