Georgia SAT scores keep falling, lag behind most of U.S.

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For the fifth consecutive year, the average SAT college board score of Georgia’s graduating high school seniors declined, and the state still trails most of the other 49 states in its average score.

The state’s public, private and home-schooled students scored 1,445 out of a maximum score of 2,400 on the SAT, which was six points lower than average score for 2010. Reading scores declined by three points, math scores fell by two points and writing scores decreased by one point.

Only two states – South Carolina and Maine – and the District of Columbia had lower average SAT scores than Georgia.

The national average SAT score also dropped by six points to 1,500, but is still well higher than the average score for Georgia students.

Georgia’s public school students scored an average of 1,431 on the exam while the national average score for public school students was 1,483.

State education officials, as they traditionally do, sent out a news release on the SAT results that did not mention the fact the state’s average score had decreased again until well into the second paragraph.

School officials tried to spin the negative trend by focusing on the number of students who took the test, saying that the SAT participation rate was 80 percent, a six percent increase that placed the state fifth in the nation in the percentage of high school seniors taking the SAT.

“It’s good that we have so many students aspiring to go to college,” state school Supt. John Barge said. “However, I believe we have to do a better job of educating our students as to what exam is needed to get into the appropriate postsecondary institution.”

Education officials like former state superintendent Kathy Cox have maintained for several years that a more rigorous curriculum for the state’s students would result in better performance, but that has yet to happen.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: decline , Georgia's average score , John Barge , Kathy Cox , national average , SAT