College Board releases annual state SAT score results

Today, the College Board, which administers the SAT, released state reports. For Delaware, the report covers two distinct student populations: public school students who as juniors took the Universal SAT administered during the school day in April and those for the Class of 2012. According to the Delaware Department of Education:

Universal SAT Report
“In April 2011 and 2012, the state funded a school-day administration of the college readiness exam to every public school 11th grader in the state. The state is funding the program with part of its federal Race to the Top grant. This is the second year Delaware educators also have received detailed reports on spring SAT results to help them identify content strengths and weakness among their students through the state’s Universal SAT program.

In April 2012, 7,878 students took the exam. In April 2011, the first year of the Universal SAT program, 7,188 students were tested. Prior to the Universal SAT program, fewer than 3,200 students took the SAT. Delaware is the only state delivering the test in this way.

Providing the SAT to all public school 11th graders is part of Delaware’s larger strategy to improve college and career readiness among all Delaware students. The state also expects that enabling students to take the exam during a regular school day at their own high school will increase the number of students who are likely to apply to college because it eliminates a number of barriers to traditional testing, including the cost of registration, lack of transportation to the test center, unfamiliarity with the test and how to prepare, and conflicts with job or family responsibilities.

“Thanks to the state’s Universal SAT program, thousands of additional Delaware students are taking the SAT. These are students who may not have had the means or opportunity in the past or they may not have considered college as an option for themselves,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “Our goal is to eliminate barriers and encourage a college-ready culture in every school for every student.”

For the Class of 2013, whose members took the SAT as juniors last spring as part of the school day Universal SAT administration, the state mean scores were:

Class of 2013 (Public) Universal SAT Mean Scores
Critical reading 425
Mathematics 435
Writing 419

The analysis schools receive shows not just their students’ raw scores but detailed reports that outline how students performed in critical areas within the reading, writing and math portions of the exam. For example, educators drilling into their data may find that a high percentage of their students struggled with author’s craft questions in the critical reading portion of the exam or excelled on geometry questions in the math section.

“This is exactly the kind of information educators want. They don’t just see students’ raw math scores but specifically that their students are struggling with, say, measurement questions,” Murphy said. “That allows them to adjust their instruction to ensure students are better prepared in those areas.”

Class of 2012 Report
While the Universal SAT data outlined above for the Class of 2013 includes all public school students who took the exam during the school day as juniors, the Class of 2012 information being released today is for a larger group of students. The results for Delaware’s Class of 2012 include all students (public and private) who took the SAT during their high school career.

More students in the Delaware high school graduating Class of 2012 (public and private) took the SAT (9,838) than any other class in state history. This broke the Class of 2011 record of 7,092. Five years ago, 6,209 students in the Class of 2007 took the exam. The 2012 class also was the most diverse in Delaware history.

The racial and ethnic diversity of Delaware’s SAT takers in the class of 2012 is the highest percentage of any class in history (40 percent minority). That is up from 36 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2008. Also, 13 percent of all SAT takers (1,267) and 14 percent (1,137) of public school SAT takers in Delaware report that English is not exclusively their first language. Students taking the test also self-reported that 45 percent of them (3,705) and 51 percent of public school SAT takers (3,441) have parents whose highest level of education is a high school diploma or less.

Class of 2012 (Public and Private) SAT Mean Scores
Critical reading 456
Mathematics 462
Writing 444

Under the Universal SAT program, the state expected that with a significant increase in the number of students taking the test, some of whom are not preparing for college at this time, the average SAT scores likely would decline compared to the previous year’s scores. Because of the significant change in the size and population of the test-takers, the state recognized it would not be possible to compare the results for the public school Class of 2012, which includes school day test results, to the more selective statewide Class of 2011 results.

*Note about public school participation and mean scores: A number of factors can contribute to yearly fluctuations in public school participation levels and mean scores, including a state’s efforts to foster a college-going culture, the academic preparedness of students taking the SAT®, and changes in student behavior when completing the SAT Questionnaire. Public school participation levels are calculated based on optional, self-reported data students provide when completing the SAT Questionnaire during registration. Unanticipated increases or decreases in the number of students providing their high school’s unique code can influence year-over-year differences in public school participation and influence mean scores. A decline in the number of students providing their high school’s unique code among the classes of 2008 – 2010 resulted in a decline in reported public school participation in many states for those years. The College Board carefully monitors changes in student data and has enhanced the registration process to encourage more students to report school affiliation. As a result, the percentage of students reported by school type in the class of 2011 and 2012 has increased. As with any data, fluctuations from year to year should be interpreted with appropriate consideration.”

**SAT Cohort Data:
The College-Bound Seniors cohort traditionally included students who tested through March of their senior year. However, the College Board has observed a trend in which more students are taking the SAT for the first time in May or June of their senior year. Beginning with the class of 2011, College-Bound Seniors cohort data reflect all students in a graduating class who took the SAT at least once through June of their senior year. For comparative purposes, College-Bound Seniors data for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 cohorts have been recalculated to include all students who tested through June of their senior year.

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