SAT Participation, Performance Remain High in MCPS

September 14, 2011
Class of 2011 outperforms the state and nation

Graduates from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) significantly outscored their peers in the state of Maryland and across the nation on the SAT in 2011.

The MCPS Class of 2011 had an average score of 1637 on the SAT, 145 points higher than graduates from the state of Maryland and 137 points higher than the nation’s seniors, according to data released by the College Board on Wednesday. This is the second-highest score ever attained by students at MCPS.

SAT participation also remains very high, with 71 percent of MCPS seniors taking the college entrance exam at least once during their high school years. This is higher than the participation rate in both Maryland (69 percent) and the nation (50 percent).

“Our seniors continue to take the SAT in great numbers and score very well, outperforming students across the state and the nation,” said Christopher S. Barclay, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “The SAT results are another strong indicator that our outstanding teachers and staff are committed to preparing students for college and the workplace.”

MCPS’ average score of 1637 represents a 10 point decrease from the previous year, mirroring a downward trend across the nation. However, all subgroups of students outperformed their peers statewide and nationally, and African American and Hispanic participation increased on the SAT.

“We should be very proud that our students are performing so well on the SAT and that the participation of all students remains very high,” said MCPS Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “We will study the SAT results—as we do with all test data—to inform our conversations about student performance and our instructional programs. As with every indicator, we always have room for improvement.”

Hispanic graduates from MCPS scored an average of 1477 on the SAT, eight points higher than 2010, and 37 points higher than Hispanic graduates in Maryland and 119 points higher than the nation’s.

African American graduates at MCPS scored an average of 1382 on the SAT, seven points lower than 2010, but 113 points higher than Maryland’s African American graduates and 110 points higher than the nation’s.

 “Our African American and Hispanic students are certainly performing better than their peers on the SAT, but there are still gaps in achievement that we must continue to address,” Dr. Starr said. “I know that MCPS has a terrific staff and outstanding community support, so that we can address these gaps in a comprehensive and collaborative way.”

Performance on the SAT has been identified as one of the Seven Keys to College Readiness—and series of benchmarks that indicate a student is on track to graduate ready for college-level work. Nearly half of all MCPS 2011 graduates earned a college-ready score of 1650 or higher on the SAT.

Among the 25 MCPS high schools:
-    18 had an average score higher than the national average of 1500
-    Eight attained average scores of 1650 or higher
-    Four attained average SAT scores of 1800 or higher

NOTE ABOUT 2010 SCORES: Due to changes in the way the College Board is calculating SAT performance and participation, the results for the class of 2010 had to be recalculated. The College Board now calculates SAT scores through the June administration of the test.  Last year, MCPS reported that its graduates had an average score of 1653. With the recalculation according to the College Board’s changed rules, the 2010 score is now 1647.

Superintendent Starr's Memo to the Board of Education

2011 SAT Performance and Participation Tables

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