Wednesday, October 08, 2014

SAT scores plummet as test takers increase

October 7, 2014
As more students took the SAT in Maryland last year, average scores on the college readiness exam plummeted, falling below the national average for the first time in years, according to data released Tuesday.

The drops appear to have been influenced by policy changes in at least two large school systems — Baltimore and Prince George's counties — that allowed every high school junior to be given the test.
With the school system paying for the test, Baltimore County had a 58 percent increase in test takers and saw scores drop about 50 points on each section of the test — critical reading, math and writing.

The school system expected to see dramatic drops but wanted to remove barriers, said Russell Brown, chief accountability officer for Baltimore County Public Schools.

"It is a push to afford that opportunity to all students. Many students find the additional cost to be a burden," Brown said. "It communicates to the students an expectation of college and career readiness."

Statewide, the average score dropped 5 points in each section to 492 in critical reading, 495 in math and 481 in writing. The national average was 5 points higher in critical reading, 18 points higher in math and 6 points higher in writing. The highest score on each section of the test, which is administered by the New York-based College Board, is 800.

The number of students who took the test in Maryland increased by 3 percent.

Read more:,0,6331784.story#ixzz3FYcdcfGx

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