Henry County reports rise in SAT scores this year

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Henry County sent out this release on its performance on the 2012 SAT:

The SAT scores for Henry County Schools’ 2012 high school graduates have been released by the College Board. Several schools saw improvements in subject areas and composite scores. While scores nationally either fell or remained the same in scoring areas, the district followed the same trend as the state and increased its scores in all measured areas and the composite score.

Henry County Schools’ scores are slightly behind the state averages; however, the district’s composite score rose by 12 points, or 5 points more than the state’s composite score.

Scores for the test are measured in the areas of critical reading, math, and writing. Those three scores are combined to give each student a composite score. The highest composite score a student can receive is 2400, or 800 per subject area.

Six of the district’s high school senior classes increased their composite scores with five of those six schools seeing increases in the three individual subjects, too. The greatest gain in composite scoring was seen at Ola High School with a 72 point increase. Woodland, Locust Grove, Dutchtown, Union Grove, and Luella high schools followed with increases of 61, 40, 27, 17, and 1 point respectively. Union Grove High School outpaced the national average by 35 points and the state average by 81 points. Ola High School topped the state average by 35 points. Patrick Henry High School did not have enough test-takers to calculate a mean score.

Henry County Schools saw a four point increase in critical reading from the previous year. The largest increase was 31 points at Ola High School. Woodland, Locust Grove, Dutchtown, and Union Grove high schools saw increases of 28, 15, 13, and 2 points respectively. Woodland, Union Grove, and Ola high schools all scored above the state and national averages in this area.

The school district saw a seven point increase, its largest in one subject area, in the math portion. Dutchtown, Locust Grove, Luella, Ola, Stockbridge, Union Grove, and Woodland high schools all saw increases, resulting in jumps of 7, 11, 7, 19, 1, 13, and 13 points respectively. Union Grove High School ranked above the national and state average scores, while Ola High School’s score came in ahead of the state average.

In the area of writing, Locust Grove, Stockbridge, Ola, Dutchtown, Union Grove, and Woodland high schools saw increases in their scores by 14, 2, 22, 7, 2, and 20 points respectively. Ola and Union Grove high schools’ scores topped both the state and national averages.

The SAT is one of two tests students can take for the purpose of post-secondary education institution acceptance. The Georgia Department of Education provides assistance with early preparation for the test through a program called PSAT. The program focuses on 10th graders and is a standardized test that provides practice for the SAT.

When it comes to preparation for the test, Henry County students who participated in the PSAT at least once scored a minimum of 80 points higher than their peers who took no pre-assessment.

While the state boasts an average participation rate of 81% of seniors taking the SAT, Henry County Schools’ seniors averaged roughly 55% participation. The number of senior students in 2012 taking the test (1,523) is down by 148 students, or 2% from the previous year’s numbers (1,671). This is attributed to the specific guidance students obtain at the school level upon receiving their PSAT results, much like when students receive their PLAN results for the ACT. The information gleaned from the pre-assessment scores is used to guide and prepare students for the more suitable college entrance exam.

Upon reviewing the scores, Superintendent Ethan Hildreth stated, “It is encouraging that system average scores have increased by 12 points, outpacing both state and national changes. We are pleased that 27% of our students scored above the national average in math and 26% scored above the national average in critical reading. However, our goal remains for all schools and the district to exceed the national average and to set the bar for state performance.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

8 comments Add your comment

Mirva

September 26th, 2012
6:56 pm

This is a classic example of how people who know nothing about education “think” they can make claims about school or teacher quality by using test scores. The SAT is an APTITUDE test- not an achievement test. It does nothing to show the quality of teaching or the quality of any school. It shows the APTITUDE of the students in the school. If a student posts a higher aptitude, they should post a higher achievement. If a student posts a lower apitude, they should in turn post a lower achievement. You CANNOT use an appitude test to prove or disprove achievement.

Thomas's Paine

September 26th, 2012
7:18 pm

Kudos, Bush! NCLB works after all! Yaaaaayyyyyyy! Wait….What? We scrapped it? Oh, nevermind then.

bootney farnsworth

September 26th, 2012
8:56 pm

I’m as suspicious of this as I am of DeKalb. not a big believer in coincidences

Ron

September 26th, 2012
8:56 pm

However, our goal remains for all schools and the district to exceed the national average and to set the bar for state performance.”

Whoop de-do! Will we as a society ever get over our obsession with test scores and trying to outdo one another? Setting the bar higher than before, but to what end? Agony for all in trying to get there, is what.

Finally like reading ajc

September 26th, 2012
9:29 pm

Maureen, I am off topic but I have becomes hooked on your blog in the last 3 weeks. I am intrigued by the charter school debate and enjoy reading your ever changing posts and the spirited debate among your readers. Keep up the good work….everyone. : )

Rob

September 27th, 2012
9:10 am

The lower participation rate effectively negates the improved results. Sounds like Henry is cherry picking who takes the test to make it APPEAR as though their scores are on the rise.

Maureen, can you please provide further explanation for this paragraph:

“This is attributed to the specific guidance students obtain at the school level upon receiving their PSAT results, much like when students receive their PLAN results for the ACT. The information gleaned from the pre-assessment scores is used to guide and prepare students for the more suitable college entrance exam.”

Just how is this informationed used?

Thanks

Missing the point

September 27th, 2012
10:06 am

Duh! You are missing the point! Henry County reported an increase in scores, but if you look at the graphic, scores actually declined!

Rob

September 27th, 2012
12:24 pm

@ missing the point: How is a 12 point increase a decline? To which scores are you referring?