The state saw a drop in its 2009 SAT scores, which will surely become an issue in the governor’s race since this is the third straight year that the much-watched scores did not rise.
I have my doubts that the governor can be credited or blamed for SAT scores, but the candidates always jump on the scores so the annual release become a matter for the governor’s office.
Georgia’s public, private and home-school students scored 1,460 on the SAT, down six points from 2008. (A perfect score is 2,400.) The national average was 1,509, down two points from the previous year. Public school students in the state scored 1,450 on the exam, down three points from 2008. The national average score was 1,493, down two points from the previous year. (Georgia has not historically gotten the boost in scores from its private school performance that other states get.)
(Our data guru Matt Dempsey is pulling out scores. Here is the list of top scoring high schools in the state. Here is his list of top metro performers. Matt is now at work on the comparison chart that some of you wanted for years past, but he has to hand do it as the SAT used the full names for the schools in its data tis time, meaning that Walton High School shows up as George Walton Comprehensive High School rather than Walton, creating a nightmare for poor Matt. See what he does for you? )
Many people have posted on this topic, including some parents who point to the value of test prep classes. But I think the real issue is tougher courses across the board.
Whenever I asked high school kids if they were challenged, they cite a class here or there. But they often admit that they could have worked harder, that the work was not particularly demanding.
I don’t like the politicization of the SAT, but the public is familiar with the test so it becomes a focal point. And most parents today took the test themselves so it is not as alien to them as the CRCT.
Do I wish Georgia had higher SAT scores? Sure. I think Georgia is still considered an educational backwater by people outside the state and our low scores don’t help.
But I would be happier to see more kids enrolled in AP and more schools taking a hard look at their course offerings and their level of challenge.