SAT scores were down six points this year, both in the state and the nation, according to the Georgia Department of Education. And while the state average by 114 points and the national average by 59 points, scores dropped here, too.
The largest and most diverse group of graduating seniors in the state's history took the SAT this year. Georgia ranked fifth in the country in participation.
"It is common for mean scores to decline when the number of students taking an exam increases because more students of varied academic backgrounds are represented in the test-taking pool," department spokesman Matt Cardoza said in a news release. "As the number of SAT takers in Georgia has increased 18 percent among all students and 19 percent among public school students since 2007, score declines like Georgia has experienced can be expected."
Q: Are you concerned with the drop in scores, and if so, what do you think needs to be done to reverse the trend?
Read what the Canton-Sixes Patch Moms Council had to say, then add your own suggestions in the comment field below this article.
A: Obviously, I don't think it's a good thing for SAT scores to be dropping. However, I think it's important to compare apples-to-apples. Georgia ranks No. 5 in the country for number of students taking the SAT. States that routinely rank higher in average scores have far fewer students taking the test. Having students who are not planning to attend college take the test skews the results.
I think the reason scores are lower is because critical thinking is not as much of a focus in our schools. When I took the test, being able to summarize and analyze written material was key, as was the ability to have deductive reasoning skills. I think we've moved away from this type of teaching and learning in our schools—for more reasons than we have room to discuss here.
Melissa Holder, mother of two
A: Honestly, the drop in scores does not bother me a bit. I feel as long as my children are performing where they should be, then there is nothing to worry about on the education front. I have also been told by educators that SAT scores tend to fluctuate with different students moving in and out of the district. My oldest daughter took the SAT at the beginning of the eighth grade and scored somewhere in the middle. She is in the ninth grade now and feels certain she will do better on the test the next time because there were topics she has not even been taught yet.
Leslie Olejnik, mother of two