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September 13, 2010
Oregon SAT Scores Show Solid Gains in Reading and Writing
SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo today released Oregon’s scores on the SAT college entrance exam. Oregon students’ reading and writing scores rose by two points each and math scores held steady; Oregon scores in all three areas continue to exceed the national average:
“I am excited to see the increase in our student’s reading and writing scores this year,” Superintendent Susan Castillo said. “Not only are our students doing better on the SAT, but more students than ever before are participating and this includes record numbers of minority students taking the test.”
In Oregon, 14,097 public school students took the SAT in 2009, up 1% from 2008. SAT scores for individual schools are reported as part of the school report cards, released by the Oregon Department of Education on October 7. In keeping with Oregon’s increased SAT participation, Oregon 2009 AP participation increased by over 11% from 2008. The number of students receiving grades of 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams (those eligible for college credit) increased 9% from last year.
Included in the SAT results released today is evidence of the impact taking a solid “core curriculum” has on student scores. Students taking four years of English, and three years each of mathematics, science, and social sciences – the foundation of courses which will be required of all Oregon graduates starting in 2012 – out-performed those who did not by over 40 points on each portion of the test.
“These results illustrate the importance of rigorous coursework and a strong foundation in ensuring our students are prepared for future success,” Castillo said. “With the new Oregon graduation requirements coming on board soon, our students have been asked to step up and reach a higher bar. And the results today show that our students are doing just that. This year’s juniors will need to demonstrate their proficiency in reading in order to earn an Oregon diploma. This year’s sophomores will need to show that they have mastered both reading and writing. One of the means of demonstrating this proficiency is through achieving certain scores on tests like the SAT and PSAT. The increased student performance in reading and writing indicates that more of our students are prepared to meet these requirements.”
Despite gains in student performance and minority student involvement, minority student participation and scores still trail those of their white peers.
“I am encouraged by the increased participation of our most under-represented students, and I know our schools have been working hard to expand access and ensure all students see college as a real possibility. However, we have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure all of our students are receiving the supports, resources, and tools they need to succeed. This involves encouraging students to take advantage of the state-provided PSAT as sophomores, increasing the number of students taking AP and other accelerated courses, and focusing on rigorous, high quality instruction across all grades.”
The Oregon Department of Education pays for all sophomores to take the PSAT. In 2009, 26,367 Oregon sophomores (and 13,901 juniors) took the PSAT. This test, and the resources which accompany it, can provide students and their teachers with valuable tools and information to help prepare for the SAT and educational opportunities beyond high school. For more information on resources and tools associate with the PSAT, go to: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/quickstart.html.
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