“Every group of kids is different,” so it’s difficult to compare a school’s average SAT scores from year to year, said Clyde Harrell, the school system’s director for curriculum and instruction.
Year-to-year figures mostly reflect the readiness level of that group of students to take the SAT test, Harrell said.
The school system has offered a college-preparation course at some high schools in recent years. It was offered at five schools during 2010-11 and is in four high schools this school year, said Jeremy Jakoby, the school system’s supervisor for testing and accountability.
Jakoby said it’s difficult to say what impact the course or its absence has on a school’s average SAT score.
But, Harrell said, scores improve for most students who take that class.
The college-preparation course is an elective and, at the schools where it’s offered, not every student takes it, Harrell said.
Some students who take the class might not take the SAT that year or might take the ACT instead, Jakoby said.
Systemwide, the average composite SAT score fell 10 points from 1,498 in 2010 to 1,488 in 2011.
The College Board, which provides the college-entrance exam, recently recalculated average SAT data for recent years because the organization expanded its statistics to include test results from SAT tests taken in May and June. If a student takes the SAT more than once, only the student’s most recent test score is included in the compiled data.
According to data provided by the school system, here is how each high school fared when comparing its average composite score from 2010 to 2011:
- Barbara Ingram School for the Arts’ average score fell 159 points from 1,678 to 1,519. Most of that drop was due to decreases in scores for the critical reading and writing sections.
Because the arts school has such a small number of test takers, the average score can swing dramatically if a few students do poorly, Harrell said. Last year, 28 students took the test, compared to no more than 10 the previous school year.
- Boonsboro High’s average score improved 51 points from 1,531 to 1,582.
- Clear Spring High’s average score improved 40 points from 1,500 to 1,540.