The decline in Georgia's average SAT scores make one wonder whether this trend will persist, and what can be done to stop it. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, this marks the third consecutive year of declining scores.
The decline may be due to the wider spectrum of Georgia students participating in recent years. Georgia is considered a high participation state because more than half of its students take the SAT. Only 24 states are labeled as such.
If a state is not testing the same levels of students as Georgia, then comparing them is meaningless and unfair. This does not mean one must disregard the small decline; it means the Georgia Department of Education must still work hard to counteract this trend.
Student who take Advanced Placement classes are proven to score better on the SAT. I can attest by my own personal experience. AP classes provide students with rigorous course work with expanded vocabulary, and the AP tests themselves resemble the SAT a great deal.
It builds academic confidence in students that is key to motivating students to improve their SAT scores. Students who do not take an AP test in their high school career should be required to take a SAT prep class in order to obtain the test skills necessary to do well on the test.
Georgia is already experimenting with a more rigorous and nationally progressive curriculum known as the Georgia Performance Standards, whether these tougher and more specific curriculum check points will reverse this SAT trend only the Class of 2012 can tell. They will be the first class to graduate that has only been taught according to the GPSs in high school.
As for the current classes, sign up for an AP class, grab a SAT for Dummies book, and prove the state SAT average wrong.
Michael Ryan is a senior at Greenbrier High School.