The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 30, 2013

ECPS SAT scores take a dive


TARBORO — Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores decreased for students in Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) this year. Many colleges evaluate SAT scores as a determining factor for student admission.

The average combined SAT score for the 168 ECPS students taking the test this year was 1,256, compared to an average score of 1,299 in 2012. In 2011, the average SAT score was 1,325.

The breakdown for SAT scores this year at the four high schools is 1,421 for the Early College, 1,266 for Tarboro High 1,253 for SouthWest  and 1,169 for North Edgecombe. The Early College’s high SAT score reflects its 100 percent graduation rate; all students at the school are college bound. The number of students taking the SAT was 16 at Early College, 33 at North Edgecombe, 65 at SouthWest and 54 at Tarboro High.

A student’s total SAT score is a combination of a critical reading score, mathematics score and writing score. This year, ECPS students had an average score of 432 in math, 419 in critical reading and 405 in writing.

North Carolina students’ average combined SAT scores increased 10 points this year, to 1,479. The national average combined score remained the same this year, at 1,498.

The number of ECPS students taking the SAT also declined this year, from 44.9 percent in 2012 to 38.8 percent in 2013. Similar to ECPS, the number of seniors in North Carolina taking the SAT dropped 8.2 percent from 2013 to 2012.

One possible attributable factor to the drop in SAT participation is the fact that all high school juniors took the ACT (American College Testing) this year for the first time as part of the state’s new READY accountability model. Students can use their ACT results for college admissions rather than having to pay to take a college entrance exam.