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Subject:

SAT Scores Drop, Gaps Grow: Race, Ethnicity, Family Wealth

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 07:25:05 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (528 lines)

SAT Scores Drop, Gaps Grow 

August 26, 2009 

Average SAT scores dropped slightly for those who graduated from high school
this year, as many more students and a more diverse group of students than
in the past took the exam. While
<http://professionals.collegeboard.com/data-reports-research/sat/cb-seniors-
2009> College Board materials stressed those increases in participation, the
data released also included news that may concern many educators: gaps in
scores -- both by race and ethnicity, and by family wealth -- grew this
year.

College Board officials generally play down (and did again so this year)
slight variations in average scores, saying that movement of a point or so
doesn't mean much. But this year's averages -- 501 for critical reading, 515
for mathematics and 493 for writing -- continue a period of small declines
or stagnant scores.

SAT Averages, 2005-9


  

Critical Reading 

Mathematics 

Writing 


2005 

508 

520 

n/a 


2006 

503 

518 

497 


2007 

502 

515 

494 


2008 

502 

515 

494 


2009 

501 

515 

493 

Data on the breakdowns by race and ethnicity show a widening gap between
Asian American test takers and other groups. Adding all three portions of
the SAT, Asian Americans gained 13 points, while American Indians gained 2
points and all others lost. Last year, Asian Americans led only with the
mathematics average, but this year their average score overtook that of
white students on writing, too. 

These ethnic gaps are crucial for both educational reasons and political
ones. Many of the growing number of colleges that are going SAT-optional
have expressed discomfort with tests on which there are such stark -- and
growing -- differences in averages by race and ethnicity.

SAT Scores by Race and Ethnicity, 2009


Group 

Critical Reading Score 

1-Year Change, Reading 

Mathematics Score 

1-Year Change, Mathematics 

Writing Score 

1-Year Change, Writing 

Total 1-Year Change 


American Indian 

486 

+1 

493 

+2 

469 

-1 

+2 


Asian American 

516 

+3 

587 

+6 

520 

+4 

+13 


Black 

429 

-1 

426 

+0 

421 

-3 

-4 


Mexican American 

453 

-1 

463 

+0 

446 

-1 

-2 


Puerto Rican 

452 

-4 

450 

-3 

443 

-2 

-9 


Other Latino 

455 

+0 

461 

+0 

448 

+0 

+0 


White 

528 

+0 

536 

-1 

517 

-1 

-2 

The growing gaps are even more visible when examined by income level. As in
past years, there is a fairly direct pattern: the more money a student's
family earns, the higher the SAT scores. But this year's figures show not
only the gap, but its growth. The following table shows that for those at
the low end of the income scale, SAT gains this year were quite modest. For
those from wealthy families, the gains were significant.

SAT Scores by Family Income, 2009


Income Level 

Critical Reading Score 

1-Year Change, Reading 

Mathematics Score 

1-Year Change, Mathematics 

Writing Score 

1-Year Change, Writing 

Total 1-Year Change 


0-$20,000 

434 

+0 

457 

+1 

430 

+0 

+1 


$20,000-$40,000 

462 

+0 

475 

+2 

453 

+0 

+2 


$40,000-$60,000 

488 

+0 

497 

+1 

476 

-1 

+0 


$60,000-$80,000 

503 

+1 

512 

+2 

491 

+1 

+4 


$80,000-$100,000 

517 

+3 

528 

+3 

505 

+1 

+7 


$100,000-$120,000 

525 

+3 

538 

+4 

516 

+4 

+11 


$120,000-$140,000 

529 

+3 

542 

+5 

520 

+3 

+11 


$140,000-$160,000 

536 

+3 

550 

+4 

527 

+2 

+9 


$160,000-$200,000 

542 

+7 

554 

+6 

535 

+6 

+19 


More than $200,000 

563 

+9 

579 

+9 

560 

+8 

+26 

Laurence Bunin, senior vice president of the SAT Program at the College
Board, said that this year's totals continued a gradual trend in which
slightly more students are taking the SAT only once. While College Board
officials say that it is understandable that many students may want to take
the test twice, they say that they discourage taking the test more than
that. (Critics of the College Board say that its recent shift to allowing
students to select the scores to send to colleges, possibly hiding the
number of times that they took the SAT, sends the opposite message.)

In 2009, 48.2 percent of students took the SAT only once, up from 46.5 three
years earlier. Bunin said he did not have data to distinguish between those
who took the SAT twice (within what the College Board recommends) and three
or more times.

-  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> Scott Jaschik 

 
<http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/26/sat#Comments
> Go to comments (1) > 

*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/career/seekers> Search Jobs 

C Copyright 2009 Inside Higher Ed 

 

Related Stories

*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/25/admissions>
Competition vs. Learning
August 25, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/20/rankings> Rankings
Frenzy '09
August 20, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/19/act> Mixed Results
for ACT
August 19, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/18/texas> Court Win for
Affirmative Action
August 18, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/17/rankings> More
Questions on Rankings
August 17, 2009 

Sources:  

http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/26/sat

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/26/sat

 

 

 

Dan Kern

AD21, Reading

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Road

Union, MO  63084-4344

Phone:  (636) 583-5195

Extension:  2426

Fax:  (636) 584-0513

Email:  [log in to unmask]

 

http://www.studentveterans.org/

 

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is
it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks
the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a
position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it
because one's conscience tells one that it is right. (Martin Luther King,
Jr.) 

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner. Put

yourself in his place so that you may understand what he learns and

the way he understands it. (Kierkegaard)

 

To freely bloom - that is my definition of success. -Gerry Spence, lawyer
(b. 1929)    [Benjamin would be proud, I think.]

 


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