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Most Washington Co. schools improve SAT scores

September 25, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A year after dropping 53 points, the average SAT score at Hancock Middle-Senior High School rose 85 points last school year, the largest gain within Washington County Public Schools.

Three other high schools -- Smithsburg, Washington County Technical and South Hagerstown -- had gains of about 50 points.

School system officials distributed school-by-school averages last week as they discussed newly released SAT results.

Overall, Washington County's average SAT score rose 26 points last year, from 1,480 to 1,506. The previous year, it dropped from 1,508 to 1,480.

The SAT, a college-entrance exam, has three parts -- reading, math and writing. The best score on each part is 800, meaning a perfect SAT score is 2,400.

Some colleges use the ACT as an entrance exam.

The ACT has four parts -- English, reading, math and science. A perfect score on each section is 36. The scores on each section are averaged to get a composite score, so the highest overall score also is 36.

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Washington County's average ACT scores rose slightly for English, math and science last year and stayed the same for reading. The composite average rose to 21.2, up from 20.9.

The highest average SAT score among Washington County high schools was at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, which opened last year. The average score was 1,678.

Smithsburg High was next with an average score of 1,617 last year, up from 1,560 the previous year.

Similar gains were seen at Washington County Technical High, which rose from 1,366 to 1,418, and at South Hagerstown High, which increased from 1,396 to 1,445.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan complimented the teachers at South High, in particular, for working hard to help raise their school's scores.

She declined to comment on other schools' scores.

Test scores dropped at two Washington County public schools -- Clear Spring High, from 1,519 to 1,509, and Boonsboro High, from 1,534 to 1,533.

Hancock Middle-Senior High rose from 1,425 to 1,510, the system's top gain.

Last year, 47 percent of Washington County Public School seniors took the SAT, down from 50 percent the year before.

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