College board test scores for Arlington high school seniors rose this year and are currently the highest in the metropolitan area, according to school board chairman Mary Margaret Whipple.
At a meeting last week, Superintendent Larry Cuban told teh school board that results of the SAT aptitute tests, taken last April by 64 percent of the high school seniors, show a 9-point jump in the verbal score and a one-point increase in the math score over the previous year.
The average verbal score for Arlington seniors was 471, up from 462 for 1977. The average math score was 505, up from 504. The maximum possible score on each test is 800.
According to the College Entrance Examination Board which administers the tests, national averages are 429 for the verbal portion and 468 for the math. National scores, Cuban noted, have steadily declined in recent years.
"It's a seductive business to get trapped by those numbers," Cuban told the visibly pleased board members. "Test scores are only one measure of quality of a school system. Advocates or critics should not fall into the trap of concluding that one narrow measure . . . be used to give passing or failing marks to an entire school system."
Comparable Arlington scores for 1971 were 476 on the verbal portion and 504 on the math protion. National averages for that year were 453 on the verbal test and 484 on the math.
School officials said the most substantial increase in test scores was registered at Wakefield High School. The average verbal score for seniors there increased 24 points over last year while the average math score jumped 16 points.
Woodlawn High School had the highest average verbal score (520), and Yorktown High School had the top math score (518).
School officials said about 76 percent of Arlington students continue their education after high school.[TABLE OMITTED]