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Home News Education Education SAT report: Only 43 percent of 2012 college-bound seniors are college ready

SAT report: Only 43 percent of 2012 college-bound seniors are college ready

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The SAT Report on College & Career Readiness released Monday revealed that only 43 percent of SAT takers in the class of 2012 graduated from high school with the level of academic preparedness associated with a high likelihood of college success.

These findings are based on the percentage of students in the class of 2012 who met the SAT College & Career Readiness Benchmark, which research shows is associated with higher rates of enrollment in four-year colleges, higher first-year college GPAs and higher rates of retention beyond the first year.

“This report should serve as a call to action to expand access to rigor for more students,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “Our nation’s future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing. We must make education a national priority and deliver rigor to more students.”
SAT Benchmark

Among the high school class of 2012, 43 percent of all SAT takers met the SAT College & Career Readiness Benchmark. This percentage is consistent with that of the class of 2011, which also met the benchmark at a rate of 43 percent.

The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 indicates a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of study at a four-year college.

The SAT performance of students in the high school class of 2012 continues to reinforce the importance of a rigorous high school education. Data confirm that students who complete a core curriculum and enroll in honors and/or Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses perform better on the SAT.

The relationship between high school course work and SAT performance is understandable, since the SAT is a valid and reliable measure of a student’s college readiness, and students who complete a core curriculum and participate in more rigorous course work are often better prepared for college. When students are better prepared for college, they are more likely to do well in college, more likely to stay in college and more likely to graduate from college – the keystone of our efforts to sustain American competitiveness and prosperity long into the future.

The Common Core State Standards have been designed to provide a rigorous learning platform that prepares our nation’s students to perform in the classroom, to succeed in college and to prosper in their careers.

More than ever, the population of students taking the SAT reflects the diverse makeup of America’s classrooms. Among SAT takers in the class of 2012, 45 percent were minority students, making this the most diverse class of SAT takers ever. Among public school SAT takers in the class of 2012, 46 percent were minority students.

Among the SAT class of 2012, 36 percent of all students reported their parents’ highest level of education as a high school diploma or less. Underserved minority students accounted for 46 percent of first-generation college goers. Conversely, underserved minority students accounted for only 20 percent of SAT takers in the class of 2012 who reported their parents had a postsecondary degree.

“Taking a college entrance exam is a critical step on the road to higher education, but many traditionally underserved students face financial, familial and geographic barriers that can prevent them from testing,” said James Montoya, vice president of relationship development for the College Board. “Low-income students are less likely to have parents who went to college, less likely to participate in rigorous courses and less likely to have completed a core curriculum. Providing these students with the support and resources they need is crucial to meeting our nation’s long-term college completion goals.”

Since 1970, the College Board has provided SAT fee waivers to low-income students for whom exam fees would present an undue burden in the college-going process. With the assistance of high school counselors throughout the country, the College Board’s SAT Fee-Waiver Service is making it possible for more low-income students than ever before to get on the road to college.

More students in the class of 2012 utilized SAT fee waivers than any class in the history of the program. Since 2008, participation in the College Board’s SAT Fee-Waiver Program has increased 61 percent.

During the 2011-12 academic year, the College Board expended more than $44 million in fee waivers and related expenses.

More than 1.66 million students in the class of 2012 took the SAT, making it the largest class of SAT takers in history.

The number of students taking the SAT in each graduating class has increased 6 percent since 2008, while critical reading scores have declined four points, writing scores have declined five points, and mathematics scores have remained stable during that time.

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futhark
Response to jmadison "alternatives"
written by futhark, September 27, 2012
Standardized tests aren't harmful, per se. I'm quite good at them and so are my two children. Very often what is being tested is a talent for taking these tests, not a body of knowledge or skills imparted by the teacher. Since these tests provide no extrinsic rewards for those who are good at taking them, students who lack the requisite talents have low or no motivation to take them seriously. I've seen students marking their answer sheets a-b-c-d-c-d-b-a or all "c" dozens of times. As far as "lazy" teachers are concerned, conditions that all teachers must face these days pretty much precludes the longevity of this mythical species. If you want teachers to be more effective, then provide them with the resources and skills to plan and execute "best practices" lessons. Too often lessons depend on the teacher's own creativity and personal resources. Teaching is the profession whose practitioners are most isolated. Teachers of a given subject may rarely, if ever, observe colleagues teaching the same subjects that they must teach. Any veteran teacher, such as myself, could go on and on about the things they have had to invent or adapt on their own without the opportunity of guidance or collaboration.
jmadison
alternatives?
written by jmadison, September 26, 2012
Well what is the answer if we get rid of standardized tests? How do we judge their education? How do we judge teacher's performance?
While we are trying to make changes, lets get rid of the tenure system also. My job doesn't grant tenure. No one likes the first in, first to go way of hiring and firing. There are too many older lazier teachers that our protected from having the younger more energetic replace them. If you want to do away with tests we need other options to judge kids and their teachers.
futhark
Early Childhood Education Is The Key
written by futhark, September 26, 2012
As an educator with 32 years of classroom experience and the parent of two valedictorians of Lake County high schools, one of whom scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT, both now with university degrees, I can say with some confidence that the development of intellectual skills is fundamentally based on having a stimulating, supportive environment in the first 4 years of life. I'm not writing about day care or formal education. I'm writing about having parents who read to their children, who provide them with interactive toys that develop motor and reasoning skills, and who encourage them to develop their own talents and interests. Trying to teach complex mathematics to children who don't have the neurological prerequisites is like trying to build a skyscraper on a sandbar. We must start applying the knowledge acquired by brain researchers over the last several decades if we are to have a positive effect on the intelligence of young people. Barrages of standardized testing in high school is NOT the answer.

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