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2000 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Results for Montgomery County Public Schools
The MCPS results by gender were above the Maryland and national averages. In the verbal section, MCPS males and females outscored their national counterparts by 29 and 32 points, respectively. In math, the differences were 41 and 43 points, respectively.
The results for all MCPS racial/ethnic groups were above the Maryland and national averages, except for the state comparison among Hispanics. African American students achieved a 55-point margin over the national average for African American students. Asian American students outscored Asian American students nationally by 59 points. The score for Hispanic students was 44 points higher than the national average for Hispanic students. White students exceeded the results for white students nationally by 94 points.
There was a disparity within MCPS SAT scores between racial/ethnic groups with Asian American and white students scoring significantly higher than African American and Hispanic students. The results by racial/ethnic group also reveal significantly different trends since 1997 (see Figure 2, below). The mean SAT total scores for African American seniors varied between 922 in 1997 and 914 in 2000 but showed no statistically significant trend across years. The mean SAT total scores for Asian American seniors trended upward in the two years following 1997 and then dropped to a mean of 1123 in 2000. These ups and downs were statistically significant; however the mean for the Asian American seniors in the Class of 2000 remained above the mean of 1111 for the Class of 1997. Hispanic seniors showed a statistically significant, decreasing trend from a mean of 993 in 1997 to a mean of 962 in 2000. Finally, white seniors showed a statistically significant, increasing trend from a mean of 1138 in 1997 to a mean of 1152 in 2000.
The proficiency of MCPS students by race/ethnicity on the verbal and math sections of the SAT fluctuated in the 1997-2000 period, while the national trend remained flat. (Detailed racial/ethnic data are presented in the Appendix in Table A2 for the county and Table A4 for the schools).
Previous analyses have shown that pursuing a rigorous academic program in high school by taking honors courses and math courses above the level of Algebra 2 provide students with valuable preparation for the SAT and for college. Figure 3 (below) shows that, over the last 10 years, African American and Hispanic students have not increased their participation in this type of program as much as Asian American and white students. At the same time, their SAT performance has not increased while the performance of white and Asian American students has.
Figure 3 shows that African American and Hispanic seniors have been taking more honors courses in recent years than was true 10 years ago. The increase in honors course-taking over the past decade was even greater among Asian and white students. African American and Hispanic seniors have not shown increases in taking higher-level math courses over the last 10 years. Although the SAT participation rate increased for African American seniors in the last 10 years, they and their Hispanic classmates have not shown increases in the percentage of students scoring above the 1999 national average SAT score. These data suggest that further efforts are needed to expand the participation of African American and Hispanic students in rigorous math and other course-work, and to encourage their fuller participation in SAT preparation and test taking.
*NOTE: The lighter bar represents the three-year average from 1987 to 1989; the darker bar represents the three-year average from 1997 to 1999. (Senior transcript data have not yet been compiled for the Class of 2000.) Data indicate the highest number of honors courses and highest level of math course attained in high school.
Students with identified needs receive various support services from MCPS such as free and reduced-priced meals (FARMS), special education services, or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)2. The performance of these students on the SAT tends to be somewhat lower than that of students not receiving such services. For example, the students who had ever received FARMS scored 190 points lower on the SAT total scale (about one standard deviation) than did the students who had never received this support. Fifty-six seniors had received intensive special education services at some time in MCPS, and their scores averaged 272 points lower on the SAT total scale than did the students who had never received special education services of 15 or more hours per week. Students who had at some time in MCPS received ESOL services averaged 136 points lower than did other students.
2 The data for this analysis is from the MCPS student database because the College Board does not have information about support services. This means the number of students in the analysis is not the same as the number reported as having taken the SAT.
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