The Harbinger Online

Standardized Test Scores Drop at SME

Caroline Creidenberg | Harbinger Online

Recently, there’s been a growing trend of lower SAT scores in the United States. East’s 2012 class had an average SAT score of 1789 ranking third compared to the other SMSD schools. In 2010, the higher score of 1839 ranked East at fourth.

Even though there was an increase in the amount of students taking the SAT, in 2010 only 11 percent of SMSD seniors chose to take the SAT in comparison to the 68 percent who took the ACT. Because of this increase in test takers, 2010 – 2011 reading scores went down 16 points, math scores decreased by 10 points and writing scores decreased by 14 points.

“Generally speaking when more kids take the test, you tend to see a drop in scores,” Principal Karl Krawtiz said. “But I would tell you from being a stat person, the 15 student difference from 2010 to 2011 would not be considered significant.”

This trend has been seen nationally as well. According to a report on the nation’s class of 2011, reading and math scores combined reached the lowest point since 1995. SAT reading scores were at their lowest point ever and it’s been the second time in 20 years that reading scores have dropped so much in a single year. The College Board, the non-profit organization that administers the SAT, accounts the lower scores as a result of a larger, more diverse testing pool.

The national class of 2012 had both the largest amount of students taking it, 1.66 million students, and the highest amount of minority students, 45 percent.

“It’s not unusual for something to give,” Associate Principal Jeremy Higgins said. “I would still put our scores up against any other school. So a drop for us is probably not as reflective in ability.”

Administrators within SMSD and nationally don’t consider this drop in scores to be a failure. More students are being given the opportunity of taking the test and a chance of a higher education, which makes some consider this a success.

“East students, despite the drop in any kind of score, I would never worry about,” said Dr. Krawtiz. “The public doesn’t understand testing so to them the numbers reflect what it is schools are doing, kids are doing or how well teachers are teaching when in essence, the scores don’t tell you any of that stuff. You’ve been sucked into that belief that these tests actually have credibility to them.”

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