SAT scores are out for Houston, Bibb schools. Here’s why the scores matter

One measurement of how well public schools are preparing students for college shows that Houston County’s class of 2019 excelled above the state and nation.

Meanwhile, scores on the SAT college entrance exams for Bibb County students lagged behind the state and the nation, while showing some improvement over 2018.

Houston County’s students earned a mean total score of 1,068, higher than the nation by 29 points and above the state by 20 points.

Bibb students’ composite score was 942, which was 106 points below the state and 97 points below the nation. But the composite score for Bibb was up 34 points from 2018.

“SAT scores are of direct relevance to many students in Georgia, as the SAT is used by many colleges and universities as part of their admissions decisions,” Meghan Frick, director of communications for the Georgia Department of Education, said in an email.

Frick said the scores also help the state determine how well they are serving students overall, academically.

“... trends in the scores over time also help us track the performance and progress of Georgia’s students and schools.

“This is only the second year Georgia’s students have outperformed the nation on the SAT — that’s not the only indicator of our public schools’ performance, but it’s a powerful one, particularly when you consider how high Georgia’s SAT participation rate is,” Frick said.

Georgia’s SAT participation rose 1% to 67% of public-school graduates in the class of 2019, up from 66% in 2018.

“Together with other measurements like ACT scores, state test scores, and the graduation rate, we start to develop a fuller picture of what’s taking place in our state’s public schools,” Frick said.

Georgia’s 2019 composite score was nine points higher than the national average of 1039. But the state’s composite score dipped by six points from 2018 and the nation’s dropped by 10 points 2018.

A perfect score is 1600 — 800 points for evidence-based reading and writing and 800 points for math.

Houston County

Houston County’s reading and writing score of 539 for 2019 was 6 points above the state’s score and 15 points above the nation’s score.

Houston County’s math score of 528 for 2019 was 13 points above both the state’s and nation’s score for math.

“Congratulations to our graduates on their SAT scores,” Houston County School Superintendent Mark Scott said in a news release. “We are proud of our students and pleased to outperform the national and state averages.”

Bibb County

Bibb County’s 2019 reading and writing score was 483, up 18 points from 2018.

The school district’s math score for 2019 also improved — climbing 16 points to 459.

Bibb County School Superintendent Curtis Jones said he’s not as concerned with comparisons with the state and nation as he is with how Bibb County students are doing among their peer groups. He said he was encouraged by the improved scores.

“My overall impression is I think SAT scores are good,” Jones said. “I think they are an indicator of school quality and rigor. I don’t think they’re there for everyone, and I don’t think they are the sole source of information.

“Having said that, I do believe that students who are interested in going to college should take the SAT,” he said.

Jones added that the school district encourages all students to take the SAT.

“Our scores reflect some kids who may not even be thinking about college ... For us, the scores are nice, but again, it’s really about exposing students to what it is that the challenges are going to be and seeing what the work requirements are going to be as well,” Jones said.

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Becky Purser has covered breaking news as well as crime and courts primarily in Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. She’s now exploring topics that impact the lives of children, parents and the family. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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