The Washington Post

D.C. students make math gains on SAT, but scores still trail national average

SAT scores for seniors graduating from public schools in the District have risen 10 percentage points since 2008, mostly because of gains in math, the College Board reported Monday.

Still, D.C. students’ performance on the college admissions exam, which assesses students in math, reading and writing, trailed the national average by a considerable margin.

In the District, public-school graduates scored an average of 1,184 points, nearly 300 points below the nationwide public-school average of 1,477. The maximum score possible is 2,400.

Reading scores, which this year hit a four-decade low nationwide, have held steady among D.C. public school students since 2008. Meanwhile, writing scores dipped 3 points and math scores rose 13 points over that same time period.

About two-thirds of the District’s 2012 public-school graduates took the SAT, and about two-thirds of those test-takers reported that their parents did not attend high school. Fifty-five percent of all test-takers in the city – or more than twice the national average -- had low enough family income to qualify for a fee waiver.

The figures include graduates of both traditional D.C. public schools and public charter schools.

Information about DCPS students’ SAT performance will be released soon, said spokeswoman Melissa Salmanowitz. Meanwhile charter schools’ results are expected to be available when school performance reports are posted on Nov. 1.

Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.


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