PLYMOUTH – Terryville High School students’ most recent SAT scores are comparable to the statewide average, according to a report from THS Principal Michael Hults.
Since 2016, the state and local school districts use the SAT results to determine how well students are meeting standards in English, also known as Evidence-based Reading and Writing (ERW), and math. Juniors take the test in April.
Hults gave a presentation to the Board of Education on the test performance recently.
THS students who took the test last April achieved an overall mean score of 500 out of a possible 800 in both ERW and math, compared to a statewide mean score of 514 in ERW and 502 in math. However, 62 percent of THS students hit the benchmark scores in ERW compared to 61 percent statewide. In math, 37 percent hit the benchmark for math at THS compared to 40 percent statewide.
“We’re kind of hovering around where the state average is,” Hults said, noting that the statewide mean scores dropped slightly from the year before.
“A highlight is that the mean score of a 500 for our students on the math test is the highest that we’ve had in five years, so kudos to the kids and to the math department for giving that achievement,” he said.
Hults also pointed out that seeing the difference in percentages of students meeting the benchmark in math versus ERW, “some may think that we’re that weak in math, or our department is not doing what they are supposed to do.”
The College Board has different levels for the benchmarks, he explained. “So for the juniors taking the SATs last year the benchmark for the ERW was 480 or higher, for the math they had to have a 530 or higher. It’s tied to the success that they should have in a first year college course of similar material.”
The difference in meeting the benchmarks by subject “shows all the way across the board with the state regardless of the school,” he commented.
THS students have shown improvement in meeting the benchmarks since 2016, when only 57.7 percent met the EWR benchmark and 33 percent met the math one.
With EWR, Hults said he had expected students to move up to 65 percent meeting the EWR benchmark in 2018, “so we’ve lost a little ground from what we had hoped but we are again staying steady.”
In math, the 2018 percentage was less than the 42 percent who met the benchmark the year before, but it’s still higher than in 2016 and the mean scores have been consistently going up, he said.
Hults credited the school board for providing students opportunities to take the PSAT, which makes it possible to track how students are progressing before they take the SAT.
He showed a graph comparing how the juniors did in October of 2017 on the PSAT and on the SAT last April. The EWR mean score went from 481 to 500, with the percentage meeting the benchmark rising from 61 percent to 62 percent. The math mean score went from 466 to 500, with the benchmark percentage jumping from 29 percent to 37 percent.
Students were expected to grow an average of 20 points between the two tests, so for the EWR it’s “expected, normal growth,” he said. “When you look at the math though, we had quite a bit of a jump there.”
The full report on Plymouth’s 2018 SAT results is available at https://plymouth.k12.ct.us.
Full results for the state, and all districts, schools, and student groups are available on EdSight at http://edsight.ct.gov.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.