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Richmond County SAT scores improve again

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 1:10 AM
Last updated 1:50 AM
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Students in Richmond Coun­ty performed better on all sections of the SAT for the second year in a row, as fewer students again took the test, according to 2013 results released Thursday.

The district’s average score was 1343 out of a possible 2400, up from last year’s 1321. The improvement came after a three-year downward trend from 2008 to 2011, when more students opted to take the test.

Superintendent Frank Rober­son said higher participation can pull averages down, which is the reason why the College Board, the test administrator, does not publish state-to-state comparisons. Richmond Coun­ty SAT participation dropped in 2012 and 2013, and higher averages followed.

Roberson said the increases are also a result of teachers incorporating more critical thinking and vocabulary in the daily curriculum to prepare students for the tests.

“What we try to do is ensure that our curriculum is directly aligned with the type of academic challenges that are actually presented by the SAT,” he said. “That’s not teaching to the test, but it’s preparing our students.”

The SAT is a measure of college readiness used by almost all U.S. four-year undergraduate colleges and universities as one factor in the admissions process. The test is made up of a critical reading, math and writing portion each worth 800 points, though the writing score is not often considered by universities.

Georgia’s average SAT score stayed the same from last year at 1452. Georgia students increased two points in reading to 490, dropped two points in math to 487 and stayed the same in writing at 475.

Columbia County has seen a relatively consistent decrease since 2009 but is still above the state average with a score of 1495. Students there scored an average of 508 in reading, 506 in math and 481 in writing.

Scores went down in Columbia County as participation increased over the years. In 2009, there were 946 test takers who scored a 1519 average compared with 2011, when 1,213 students dropped the average to 1505. The average score increased slightly in 2012 to 1506 when 1,166 students took the test but dropped this year when about the same amount of students took the test.

Rose Carraway, Columbia County’s high school curriculum director, said variations are expected yearly because a different cohort of students are taking the tests. The district offers SAT preparation classes to any student who can fit it in his or her schedule; after-school and Saturday prep sessions before the tests are given; and SAT work is incorporated into each student’s 30-minute enrichment or remediation period.

“Whenever scores go down, we want to look and see what’s amiss,” Carraway said. “We think the decline in math scores predominately concern the fact the kids are in a new curriculum and teachers are learning the curriculum.”

Patrick Winter, the senior associate director of admissions at University of Georgia, said SAT scores are a factor in the admissions process but not the most important.

Admissions officers look for a student who pursues Advanced Placement, In­ter­national Bachelorette and honors classes along with those involved in extracurriculars with good recommendations.

According to the College Board’s 2013 Report on College and Career Readiness, fewer than half of all SAT takers this year graduated from high school prepared for the rigor of college-level course work.

Only 43 percent of SAT takers this year met the College Board’s benchmark score of 1550, which is associated with a higher likelihood of college completion.

HOW LOCAL STUDENTS HAVE FARED

The SAT consists of a critical reading, math and writing portion each worth 800 points. A look at average scores:

RICHMOND COUNTY  COLUMBIA COUNTY 
20122013 20122013
446456READING509508
441447MATH511506
434440WRITING486481
978785TEST TAKERS1,1661,164
Comments (12) Add comment
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countyman
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countyman 09/26/13 - 01:25 am
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''Admissions officers look

''Admissions officers look for a student who pursues Advanced Placement, In­ter­national Bachelorette and honors classes along with those involved in extracurriculars with good recommendations.''

The success of the magnet schools, and the IB program at ARC must expand. The RCBOE needs to build a new IB middle/high school in West Augusta or North Richmond. Lake Forest Hills elementary is a official IB World School already.

They desperately need to build a new elementary/middle near Jimmie Dyess/Gordon Hwy also.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 05:37 am
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Break Down by Schools

I wonder if the scores could be broken down to schools. It would be interesting to see how West Augusta, South Augusta and the old city areas did. That way you can see where progress is being made and where lots of improvement is needed. Using only a county summation doesn't help the individual schools evaluate their programs. I'd even consider the private school scores so their methods can be evaluated.

The most obvious statistic is that fewer students are taking the test. Does that mean fewer are actually applying to colleges? Or does it mean the district is encouraging some not to take the test?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 05:10 am
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Is "North Richmond County"

Is "North Richmond County" actually North Augusta?

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 09/26/13 - 06:23 am
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North Richmond is something he threw out there last week

Who knows what he means. This goes back to larke making every student take college courses. A stupid move. I wonder what the averages are without figuring in the magnet schools...i would guess more along the 800-900 range.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/26/13 - 07:15 am
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North Richmond High School

Countyman posted:

The RCBOE needs to build a new IB middle/high school in . . . North Richmond.

Where would the parcel of land be for this school? Would you have them build it in the Village at Riverwatch?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 07:19 am
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LL, you could actually build in North Augusta

LL, you could actually build it in North Augusta and have students bused there. Heh, there may actually be a gem of an idea in that. Let GRU build in N. Augusta, too, for many reasons.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 09/26/13 - 07:26 am
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Just happy that

there is improvement and not a drop.

Also note:
RCBOE had almost 200 less test takers while CCBOE had only 2 less ?

WHY LESS, in what we are constantly told is a "growing population?

Less kids older people?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/26/13 - 07:48 am
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Guidance

GnipGnop had the story up above. Back in the days of Charles Larke's superintendency, they counseled students (and parents) to take the SAT regardless of their academic ability. I think is was a "self esteem" thingy.

Dana Bedden saw the folly in that, and he had the guidance counselors begin telling students not to take the SAT if they did not intend to apply for four-year colleges. The current administration, under caretaker Frank Roberson, continues Bedden's plan.

Little Lamb
49371
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Little Lamb 09/26/13 - 07:55 am
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North Richmond High School

I've got it! RCBOE could build Countyman's North Richmond Middle/High International Baccalaureate School behind the Pilot station at I-20 and Riverwatch Parkway. There's a good spot back there where there's an Elk's Club, shooting range, and dog breeding operation. The students would have a beautiful overlook of I-20.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/26/13 - 07:58 am
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Busing

RM, your idea reminded me of poor Taliaferro County back a couple of decades ago. Their population and tax revenues fell off so drastically that they shut down the school system and bused all the students to an adjoining county.

Riverman1
94500
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 08:19 am
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LL, Hush Yo Mouth

I don't even want to think about THAT.

But what's happening in both counties is that many students are being encouraged not to take the test. It obvious from the large number of students in RC that more should be taking the SAT.

I don't want to give Columbia County any breaks either, because they are using the same technique to keep scores higher. With the tremendous influx in population to the county the number of students increases yearly, but the number of test takers doesn't? That means they are discouraging students, even if it is in subtle ways, from taking the SAT so they can obtain higher overall scores. I'll guarantee you some type directions from the CC Superintendent went out about goals to limit those taking the test. Questioning her about this matter would make a great article for Steve Crawford and the CCNT.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 08:51 am
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Same As Yoknapatawpha County?

Maybe we can have Countyman explain where he draws the lines for his fictional "North Richmond County." Reminds me of fictional Yoknapatawpha County.

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