09/15/10 — Scores on SAT drop in county

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Scores on SAT drop in county

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 15, 2010 1:46 PM

For the second year, scores have dropped on Wayne County high schools' SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Tests -- this time by 9 points each in reading and math, and 15 points in writing.

The report was released this week by the College Board, from data compiled from last year's 12th-graders who took the SAT any time during their high school years through March 2010.

The SAT measures the preparedness of students for college. Not all students take the test, but scores are reflective of college-bound students taking the test as part of an admission requirement.

Wayne County students scored 1393 overall, compared with the state's total of 1485. Broken down, local numbers were 466 for critical reading, 488 for mathematics and 439 for writing. Statewide, numbers were 497 for reading, 511 for math and 477 for writing.

State numbers remained consistent both years, while Wayne County had higher scores in 2009, when the total was 1426, or 475 in reading, 497 in math and 454 in writing.

Broken down by individual schools, only Goldsboro High School has shown increases each year. In 2008, the scores were 1227, then 1252 in 2009 and 1255 for 2010.

Charles B. Aycock and Southern Wayne high schools have declined each year. Aycock's 2008 score was 1498, then 1468 in 2009 and 1426 this year; Southern Wayne's scores were at 1388 two years ago, then 1350 and 1284 this year.

Rosewood had a composite score of 1459 in 2008, rose to 1484 last year and dropped to 1374 this year.

Spring Creek had its best showing in 2008, with 1466, dropping to 1433 in 2009 and coming back up slightly this year, to 1463.

Wayne Early/Middle had the district's highest numbers, 1689, in 2008, dropping to 1555 last year and currently had a score of 1583.

Eastern Wayne, which previously had led the county, remained steady for two years, at 1494 for both 2008 and 2009, but dropped off this year to 1431.

School officials said they had no explanation for the decline.

"Our staff is looking closely at why this drop occurred, and how our schools can work to better prepare students for this college placement test," said Dr. Steven Taylor, schools superintendent. "Our schools are dedicated to improving student achievement and our administrators will continue working with schools to build upon curriculum programs and implement innovative programs in the classroom that enhance student learning."

Several efforts are in place to help students prepare for the test, officials said, including SAT courses and extra help sessions. Instructors also work to integrate critical thinking, vocabulary and math skills needed to do well on the SAT throughout curriculum areas.

Two years ago, the district also earned a grant through eKnowledge, the National Football League and the Department of Defense, allowing the students to order free SAT/ACT prep materials.

It is not unusual to see fluctuations in scores from year to year, administrators said, cautioning against comparisons between schools. Not only are there only a segmented group that takes the test, but for those who took the test more than once, regardless of the score, only the most recent score is used on the College Board report.