Kansas SAT scores up in all areas
TOPEKA -- Kansas public school students saw an increase in mean scores for all content areas on the 2012 SAT college entrance exam, according to information released today by the College Board.
For immediate release:
Sept. 24, 2012
Kansas SAT scores up in all areas
Participation rates level out
TOPEKA -- Kansas public school students saw an increase in mean scores for all content areas on the 2012 SAT college entrance exam, according to information released today by the College Board. Scores increased the most in critical reading, where Kansas students scored 595 out of 800, up five points from 2011. Kansas students posted a score of 599 in mathematics and 570 in writing; both scores are up one point from 2011.
Participation on the exam, which is traditionally low in Kansas, appears to be leveling out after two years of somewhat dramatic shifts. In 2010, participation rates dropped 15.5 percent, only to increase 18.1 percent in 2011. While the number of Kansas public school students participating in the SAT in 2012 was down almost 7 percent from the year before, the percentage of total graduates participating in the exam remains similar to last year at 5 percent.
Kansas SAT scores top national averages, where public school students had a mean score of 491 in critical reading, 505 in mathematics and 481 in writing. National scores show a slight decrease from the prior year, down two points in reading and one point each in mathematics and writing.
“It is gratifying to learn that Kansas students are experiencing growth in SAT scores, even given the small population of our students that participates in the exam,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. “SAT scores, coupled with other performance indicators, such as the ACT exam and the state assessments, help provide a better picture of how well prepared our students are for their opportunities beyond high school. While we know we have room to grow in ensuring all students are college and career ready when they leave high school, scores like those we see for the SAT demonstrate that we’ll be starting those efforts with a solid foundation upon which to build.”
The number of Kansas public school students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams continues to rise, with about 3 percent more students taking AP exams in 2012 as compared to 2011. The total number of exams taken by public school students in Kansas increased by 5 percent from the previous year, and the number of exams scored at a three or higher increased by 4 percent. Grades of three or more typically qualify for college credit.
The state continued to see growing participation among the African American and Hispanic populations, although they still account for just 4.2 percent and 8.4 percent respectively of total public school AP test takers in the state. The number of African American test takers increased nearly 11 percent from 2011, however the number of exams scored at three or higher among the African American population decreased a little over 1 percent from the previous year. A similar trend is seen in the Hispanic population, where the number of test takers increased 4.4 percent over the prior year, but the number of exams graded three or higher decreased almost 2 percent.
Last year was the final year monies from an Advanced Placement Incentive (API) grant were available to Kansas school districts. The API grant was awarded to the state four years ago and it encouraged schools to offer AP courses by helping provide for start-up costs, as well as costs associated with professional development and vertical teaming. The API grant was not renewed last year, but the state was able to continue distributing funds carried over from the original grant through the end of May 2012. Those funds will not be available to schools in the current school year.
School districts in the state will continue to benefit from the Advanced Placement Fee Reduction grant, which provides funds to cover the cost for low-income students to take AP exams.
Written By: tmiller
Date Posted: 9/25/2012
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