ATLANTA – Average statewide composite SAT scores fell in several of the Southern Regional Education Board states in which students primarily take the college-admission test, new results show. But the numbers of students taking the test continue to rise across the region, indicating that more students are preparing for college.
Average scores fell in six of the eight SREB states in which 50 percent or more of graduating seniors took the SAT. Participation rates rose or stayed the same as last year in six of those eight states. In fact, nearly 10,000 more graduating seniors had taken the test by 2010 compared with a year earlier – meaning that 47 percent of all graduating seniors this year in SREB states took the test while in high school.
Maryland’s results were a highlight for the 16-state SREB region. Maryland’s average statewide composite score rose by 5 points, even as the percentage of students tested also rose by a percentage point to 70 percent. Virginia’s average score remained the same – and remained the only SREB state whose average statewide score beat the national average – although its participation rate fell by a point to 67 percent.
Other SREB states saw drops in their average scores, but most of those states also saw gains in the percentages of students taking the test.
Although the SAT is not an overall measure of statewide education progress, the SREB Challenge to Lead Goals for Education call for all states to reach the national average on their composite scores and for achievement gaps to be closed.
"It is good news that greater percentages of students are taking the SAT in many states, which may indicate that more students are preparing to attend college or career training after high school," said Joan Lord, the SREB vice president for Education Policies.
For more information about SAT trends in SREB states or for analysis of your state’s scores, contact SREB Communications.
The Southern Regional Education Board, or SREB, based in Atlanta, was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. More information is available online at www.sreb.org.