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For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
September 24, 2012
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345

Slight Dip in 2012, But Cobb SAT Scores
Continue To Exceed State, National Averages

[NOTE: Revised release includes corrected individual school results for 2011 and paragraph explaining CollegeBoard “cohort” reporting changes.]

SAT scores for the Cobb County School District's most recent graduates remain well above averages for the state of Georgia and the nation, despite a 2-point decrease from last year. Seniors in the class of 2012 posted an overall score of 1520 (combined Reading, Math and Writing totals), besting their statewide peers' average by 68 points and the national average by 22 points.

In the SAT's three academic areas, Cobb students' Reading scores increased by two points, while Writing scores decreased three points and Math scores dipped a single point. By comparison, national scores decreased one point in Reading, one point in Writing and remained flat for Math. Georgia scores increased slightly in all three subject areas.

Eight of Cobb’s 15 high schools posted combined totals higher than the national average of 1498, including Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, Pope, Walton, and Wheeler. Hillgrove High School posted the largest year to year gain with an average of 1528, a 58 point increase from last year, while six other schools showed increases of more than 10 points over 2011 scores, including Kennesaw Mountain (34 points), Allatoona (21 points), Sprayberry (20 points), Campbell (19 points), Walton (18 points), and South Cobb (14 points).

The performance and participation rate of specific student groups on college preparation exams such as the SAT are important measures of the District's efforts to narrow the achievement gap. In the diverse class of 2012, Cobb saw an increase in the numbers of African‐American, Hispanic and Native American test takers, and slight decline in the numbers of Asian and White students taking the test. Eleven (11) percent of SAT test takers identified themselves as speaking English and one other language, while 7 percent of seniors tested identified themselves as native speakers of a language other than English. The 2012 average score for African-American students increased by 14 points to 1336, Native American students posted a 49-point increase to 1528, and the average for Asian students increased by 31 points to 1707. Hispanic students showed a 26-point drop in average score to 1403 in 2012, and the average score for White students declined by one point to 1618.

"These scores tell me that our students are well-prepared to compete at the college level," said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. "We know that the district's SAT average isn't going to increase every year, but we did see marked improvement in several of our student groups as we continue to focus on closing the achievement gap. The scores also show us some areas that need greater attention, including our students whose native language is not English."

The SAT is designed to predict a student's potential for success in the first year of college. It tests students' knowledge and application of Reading, Writing and Math. The writing section of the test asks students to write an essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use reasoning and examples to support their position. The Math section of the test includes topics from third‐year college‐preparatory math, such as exponential growth, absolute value, functional notation, and negative and fractional exponents. The Critical Reading section, previously known as the Verbal section, includes short and long reading passages.

Beginning with 2011 results, the College Board changed the way SAT scores are reported, including scores from summer test takers that make up the graduating “cohort” group. In prior years, only scores for test takers through early June were included. In the 2012 release, numbers for 2010 have been revised to reflect the cohort methodology.

Many factors affect SAT scores from year to year, including the percentage of students taking the test, student academic preparation, knowledge of English, parents' education, and locality. Cobb information shows that the higher the grades and rank‐in‐class achieved, generally the higher the mean SAT scores.

Parents who desire more information about their student's SAT scores should contact counselors in the local high school who can provide proper interpretation to help make the best use of test results.

SAT scores for individual Cobb high schools are listed in Table II.

Click here to view the complete release, with data tables.