Archive for August, 2009

Pulaski, Catoosa, Warren, Fulton, Randolph led in writing leaps

Here are the top 10 schools in improvements on the SAT writing scores from last year to this year.

The AJC’s Matt Dempsey created three top 10 lists showing the biggest improvements in the math, verbal and writing parts of the SAT. Interestingly, many of the same systems registered improvements in all areas.

What did Pulaski, Warren, Dougherty, Atkinson and Wilcox do this year?

District           School                                          08          09        Difference
Pulaski       Hawkinsville High                             433        492      59
Catoosa      Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High        501        556      55
Warren        Warren County High School              348        399      51
Fulton         Connected Academy                         478        525      …

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Updated: SAT by the numbers with rankings and 2008 data.

Now, when you search for your school here, tech guru Matt Dempsey has added lots of extras, such as your school’s ranking and 2008 results. He’s made it easier to track progress. (He hasn’t left his desk all day. The number crunching is deafening.)

In the national rankings, Georgia is 47th. The only places with lower SAT scores are South Carolina, Hawaii, Maine (where all students take the SAT )  and Washington, D.C.

Continue reading Updated: SAT by the numbers with rankings and 2008 data. »

Dougherty, Bacon, Pulaski, Jackson, Wilcox lead in verbal improvement

Matt also produced a list of the top 10 high schools in verbal score jumps on the SAT from last year to this year.

District               School                             08         09          Difference
Dougherty    Monroe High School              395       464        69
Bacon,         Bacon County High                 462       521        59
Pulaski         Hawkinsville High                  452       502         50
Jackson        East Jackson High                  431       481         50
Wilcox         Wilcox County High               414        461         47
Warren          Warren County High             326        372         46
Atkinson       Atkinson County High          406        …

Continue reading Dougherty, Bacon, Pulaski, Jackson, Wilcox lead in verbal improvement »

Pulaski, Atkinson, Mitchell, Wilcox, Bacon, Atlanta lead in math jumps

The AJC’s Matt Dempsey is crunching away. Here are the top 10 high schools showing the biggest increases in math from this year to last on the SAT:

District School                                           08 Math  09 Math   Difference
Pulaski      Hawkinsville High School               431       505          74
Atkinson    Atkinson County High School        415       479         64
Mitchell     Baconton Community Charter        442       504         62
Wilcox,      Wilcox County High School            404        465         61
Bacon,       Bacon County High School             454        514        60
Atlanta      Carver High School                        356        414         58
Jackson      East Jackson High School             431        …

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Let’s focus on rigor rather than on the SAT

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

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Education experts react to SAT scores: We must do better

Here is some of the reaction around the country to the SAT scores. I will add as I receive more reaction.

“Even though more students are taking the SAT and are showing an interest in college, scores are not rising at the rates states would like to see. This should be a call to action for improving reading and writing instruction in the middle grades and high school. States need to develop college- and career-readiness standards to help teachers and students understand the precise levels of skill and knowledge that students need to be prepared for college and career training.” David Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board

“More students took the SAT than ever before, and even more importantly, more students of color. These students are demonstrating growing expectations about attending college; now the nation must make sure that their increased expectations are met with improved education results.  But much more work is needed if the nation is to meet the …

Continue reading Education experts react to SAT scores: We must do better »

State SAT scores down, but so are scores nationwide

The state saw a drop in its 2009 SAT scores, which will surely become an issue in the governor’s race. (See story here.)

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 had 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 Matt’s list of top metro performers.

Here is a question: With all the effort on the SAT in Georgia, including free prep classes, why haven’t we moved ahead? Why are we losing ground? Is the best prescription for higher SAT scores a more rigorous curriculum, day in …

Continue reading State SAT scores down, but so are scores nationwide »

Do high SAT scores and a high GPA tell you different things?

State and district 2009 SAT scores are being released Tuesday.

There has been a fair amount of debate over whether SAT scores or class grades tell you more about a student’s ability to succeed in the first year of college. The standard line now is that both matter in predicting a student’s performance in college. However, there has been a stronger emphasis in recent years – at least in commentary from admissions folks – on grades and grade point average.

I think the SAT and the GPA can tell you slightly different things. If I needed critical analytical skills, strong writing ability and quick thinking, I would hire the person with the stratospheric SAT scores. Most of the people I have met with perfect SAT scores are dazzling thinkers and mentally nimble. I can see how they would be ideal hires in an advertising agency or think tank.

However, if I needed someone who was dedicated, hardworking and determined to see a project through to completion, I would go for the person with …

Continue reading Do high SAT scores and a high GPA tell you different things? »

UGA admissions chief on AP classes and SAT writing test

AP versus non AP? Does the SAT writing test matter?

These were some of the question raised on the Get Schooled blog last week. (By the way, get ready for the release of the state SAT scores Tuesday. AJC.com is hoping to get the district scores up soon after they are released to DOE.)

I asked Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management, to look at the blog postings and offer some guidance.
Here is her thoughtful response:

Let me start by cautioning your readers to remember that one person’s experience at a school, at some time in the past, may not be the best example for their own planning.  It is always best to get current information from the college that you are considering as criteria may change, circumstances are often different in ways that are not easily apparent, and sometimes just wrong information is stated from a well intended individual.

Assuming that readers will seek out for themselves from official sources just what is …

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The son seldom rises. (At least until 4 in the afternoon.)

Morning everyone. This is my first day with child No. 2 off to college in Ohio. As my two 10-year-olds say, “Life is going to be a lot duller now.”

In the last few weeks, I’ve read blog posts and essays about the heartache of sending a child off to college. Parents have described sitting in their child’s empty room and wiping away the tears.
Yes, I’ve experienced some tears. Also prolonged laughter, singing and shouts of joy.
On Saturday, my No. 2 child traveled 700 miles away to experience life outside the nest, and none too soon.
It is time — it has been time — for this child to be on the wing. To enjoy the freedom of sleeping until 4 p.m. in his own dorm room. To share with the rest of the world the hip-hop beats that he likes to mix at dawn.
Henceforward, he will be free from the kind of conversations that begin:
“When are you coming home?”
“Why do you want to know?”
In other words, this is a win-win deal. We all come out ahead. Except my bank account. …

Continue reading The son seldom rises. (At least until 4 in the afternoon.) »