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SAT Scores Fall Across the Board; Flagler Below U.S. But Above State Averages

| September 17, 2011

sat scores for flagler schools and florida and us 2005-2011

Click on the graph for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Class of 2011 isn’t the brightest bulb of the decade. Judging from the College Board’s SAT scores for the year, it may be the dimmest: The combined reading and math score average of 1011 is the lowest since 1995, when the combined score was 1010.

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But more college-bound students took the SAT than in any other high school graduating class in history, with some 1.65 million students participating. The class of 2011 SAT takers represented the most diverse class in history. Minorities have typically scored more poorly than whites on standardized tests. (See the chart below.)

Scores fell precipitously in Florida as well, to 976, and in Flagler County, whose 496 students taking the SAT scored an average 984 on the combined reading and math portions of the test.

The SAT is also testing for writing. Those scores fell in every category. The national average dropped from 492 to 489. The state average dropped from 479 to 471. And Flagler’s average dropped from 477 to 474. The declines locally were led mostly by Flagler Palm Coast High School’s class, whose reading, math and writing scores dropped. At Matanzas High School, reading scores dropped, math scores improved by three points, and writing scores stayed even.

The 496 students who took the test in Flagler represent 58 percent of the senior class. Students take the SAT to qualify for Bright Futures scholarships and to satisfy college entry requirements, or to meet concordant requirements for the FCAT. A Reading score of 420 and a Math score of 340 on the SAT satisfies the requirement of the concordant score.

“Not all students in a high school, school district, or state take the SAT,” the College Board cautions. “Since population of test takers is self selected, using aggregate SAT scores to compare or evaluate teachers, schools, districts, states or other educational units is not valid, and the College Board strongly discourages such uses.”

sat minority participation graphs

Click on the graphs for larger view.

15 Responses for “SAT Scores Fall Across the Board; Flagler Below U.S. But Above State Averages”

  1. Liana G says:

    Let’s see:

    2011 – Flagler score 984 to Florida’s 976
    2010 – Flagler score 995 to Florida’s 994
    2009 – Flagler score 991 to Florida’s 995

    The problem the state of Florida has that Flagler DOES NOT is the high minority population (both non english speaking minorities, and African American). This year more minorities took the SAT that any other year. This is fantastic! The question is, how does Flagler explain their downward spiral? This is a predominantly white district. Is it possible to get the race breakown of the 496 Flagler students?

    This is just sad! Students need the SAT to qualify for scholarships, their ticket into college, and this district spends more dollars, specifically given to educate the students, to prop up and pay ineffective overpriced administrators instead of spending it on essential resources needed for student achievement. Something is majorly wrong with this picture. We need people to speak up!

  2. Jim Guines says:

    There is something very wrong somewhere when the state’s major instructional program, FCAT; continues to show that test results show. “‘high” and the national standardized tests, ACT and SAT show low and not adequate. Does this mean that statewise we are a high performing school district and nationally we are a low performing school district? All this can be very confusing to parents and other consumers and even to educators like myself.

  3. Sad Times says:

    It always amazes me…. and soundly disappoints me…to see that, despite the continued reports documenting the extremely lousy scores Florida students keep getting… that the “politicians” seem to feel that decreasing the educational hours in a school year is the way to increase student scores!.

    It would seem that, given these dismal statistics, one would think the responsible and sensible thing to do would be to INCREASE instructional time for students!! But, then I have to remind myself….politicians nowadays refuse to be “responsible and sensible!”

  4. rdh says:

    This should be a reflection of our school board, the superintendent, the teachers and the teachers union. I feel they are only in it for the money. If the parents would take a more active role and insist their children did their homework etc. and get involved with the school perhaps, they could make a change and DEMAND better results..

  5. Liana G says:

    The shambles of our economy is the result of the reckless and irresponsible greed of the educated rich conning the dumb down poor, and leaving the not so bright middle stuck in their underwater homes. And the cherry on top? The taxes of the not-so-bright-middle are being used to replenish the depleted coffers of the greedy rich who do not want to contribute, AND sustain the economy / gov’t jobs, AND take care of the needy poor.

    This is what happens when our bright education experts ignore the ones at the bottom, pay little attention to those in the middle, and focus all the attention on those at the top. The results? The current state of our economy. Yet they haven’t learned.

  6. Lin says:

    Thank you Mr, Guines for using the word “confusing”.

    We put our faith and funds in the hands of educators and Superintendent & School Board who are not obviously getting the job done for our children.

    If Florida’s scores are consistently low compared to the nation and our nation is consistently low compared to other countries and johnny can’t read and the teenage salesclerk can’t make change without a computer, we have a problem.

    Today’s Florida voices in the News-Journal talks about college level skills relating to critical thinking being lacking and that Florida colleges may be ahead of the curve in accountability for students and educators.. WE DON’T HAVE THAT ACCOUNTABILITY IN FLAGLER COUNTY — and now the NEA union is suing the State — “Merit Pay” is unconstitutional?? Ridiculous notion.

    Throwing money at the employees hasn’t helped and using tax money that should have been used to EXTEND the school day to give raises is what our School Board has decided to do with the limited resources of the District. Another bad decision.

    We need to have a Board that sees that there is a problem to be solved — and then find the resouces to fix it — what they have done is make things worse. What is confusing to me is that this well educated, well paid bunch running our schools doesn’t see it. If they did see the problem, they wouldn’t have cut the school day — and they wouldn’t be giving away the store to the employees. It is obvious who they are working for — and it is not the kids.

  7. Colleen Conklin says:

    Very misleading and a bit unfair. You know these scores don’t compare apples to apples. Most other states only have students who are going to college take the SAT’s, Florida uses it as an alternative option to taking the fcat. BTW, that’s for students who fail the FCAT.

  8. The Geode says:

    Judging by the grammar and words used with these comments, it’s little wonder why the kids score so low.

  9. Yogi says:

    Where does USA education rank in the world? What does it take to get the truth about public education? Louisiana rebuilt their school system using charter schools and hired teachers that must sign at will employment contracts state wide. This appears to be getting positive results and is deemed a permanent solution. Why isn’t this concept expanding rapidly in the country if this type of educational system causes children to actually learn and achieve academic excellence? These children are dependent upon our wisdom to educate them properly. Protecting deficient teachers isn’t good for students.

  10. palmcoaster says:

    @ The Geode just like Bob E….typical pseudo elite discouraging the tax payers to express their concerns and discontent by utilizing destructive critique. The kids score so low because “do nothing’s like you, just seat around nicking and picking other than doing something about it, if even with grammatical errors” How many languages do you speak Geode? Do you volunteer in the schools? Are your kids perfect spellers? Many a billionaire do not pretend perfect spelling like you do and they made it big anyway. Myself I am far from perfect and would not there throw muck to others here, the way you do. Feel free to make fun of this one too, as I couldn’t care any less.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    @ The Geode…some get highly educated and probably become perfect spellers to use their skills for something like:

  12. Lin says:

    For some state ranking info — June 11, 2011 Huffington Post state-education-rankings.
    Very interesting but unpleasant info

  13. rdh says:

    GREAT Resonse Palmcoaster. Hey Geode, I hope you can read and understand a simple article from Palmcoaster..

  14. Liana G says:

    @Geode –

    At least we’re trying to figure out and make sense of what is going on by questioning the reasons and motives of those responsible – and getting paid quite handsomely too – for educating our kids, rather than focusing on textbook grammar and punctation.

    Howard Zinn said that the American education system is designed for us to know just enough to function, but not enough for us to realize that we don’t know much.

    Ms Conklin, please correct me if I’m wrong but I believe not all students are required to take the FCAT. I was told that there are several alternative graduation options including the GED, these are options the non high achieving students can take who do not plan on attending college.

    Also, I was made to understand that the SAT and ACT are taken ONLY by those students whose goals are to attend college, i.e. our cream of the crop, so to speak. A score on of 350/800 on the SAT reading and math respectively are equivalent to a high two on the FCAT ( FCAT requires a 3 for passing). Yet, no decent college would accept less that a combined score of 1000 on the SAT – meaning a student would have to score 500 on math and reading respectively. So much for these students getting any type of scholarship or even getting into a decent college!

  15. rdh says:

    Ms. Conklin, Ms. Dickenson and and their followers on the school board is a LARGE part of the problem.. Blame who ever you want but the buck stops there on their door steps.. Their in a fanacy world and do it for the publicity and the money…

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