SAT Scores for 2012

Cobb County School Board Post 5SAT scores for the Cobb County School District’s most recent graduates remain well above averages for the state of Georgia and the nation, despite a 2-point decrease from last year. Seniors in the class of 2012 posted an overall score of 1520 (combined Reading, Math and Writing totals), besting their statewide peers’ average by 68 points and the national average by 22 points.

In the SAT’s three academic areas, Cobb students’ Reading scores increased by two points, while Writing scores decreased three points and Math scores dipped a single point. By comparison, national scores decreased one point in Reading, one point in Writing and remained flat for Math. Georgia scores increased slightly in all three subject areas.

Eight of Cobb’s 15 high schools posted combined totals higher than the national average of 1498, including Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, Pope, Walton, and Wheeler. Hillgrove High School posted the largest year to year gain with an average of 1528, a 58 point increase from last year, while six other schools showed increases of more than 10 points over 2011 scores, including Kennesaw Mountain (34 points), Allatoona (21 points), Sprayberry (20 points), Campbell (19 points), Walton (18 points), and South Cobb (14 points).

The performance and participation rate of specific student groups on college preparation exams such as the SAT are important measures of the District’s efforts to narrow the achievement gap. In the diverse class of 2012, Cobb saw an increase in the numbers of African‐American, Hispanic and Native American test takers, and slight decline in the numbers of Asian and White students taking the test. Eleven (11) percent of SAT test takers identified themselves as speaking English and one other language, while 7 percent of seniors tested identified themselves as native speakers of a language other than English. The 2012 average score for African-American students increased by 14 points to 1336, Native American students posted a 49-point increase to 1528, and the average for Asian students increased by 31 points to 1707. Hispanic students showed a 26-point drop in average score to 1403 in 2012, and the average score for White students declined by one point to 1618.

“These scores tell me that our students are well-prepared to compete at the college level,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. “We know that the district’s SAT average isn’t going to increase every year, but we did see marked improvement in several of our student groups as we continue to focus on closing the achievement gap. The scores also show us some areas that need greater attention, including our students whose native language is
not English.”

The SAT is designed to predict a student’s potential for success in the first year of college. It tests students’ knowledge and application of Reading, Writing and Math. The writing section of the test asks students to write an essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use reasoning and examples to support their position. The Math section of the test includes topics from third‐year college‐preparatory math, such as exponential growth, absolute value, functional notation, and negative and fractional exponents. The Critical Reading section, previously known as the Verbal section, includes short and long reading passages.

Beginning with 2011 results, the College Board changed the way SAT scores are reported, including scores from summer test takers that make up the graduating “cohort” group. In prior years, only scores for test takers through early June were included. In the 2012 release, numbers for 2010 have been revised to reflect the cohort methodology.

Many factors affect SAT scores from year to year, including the percentage of students taking the test, student academic preparation, knowledge of English, parents’ education, and locality. Cobb information shows that the higher the grades and rank‐in‐class achieved, generally the higher the mean SAT scores.

Parents who desire more information about their student’s SAT scores should contact counselors in the local high school who can provide proper interpretation to help make the best use of test results.

Quick Facts about the Cobb County School District 2012 Seniors taking the SAT

• The overall total SAT score for the District was 1520. This is 68 points higher than the State’s score of 1452, and 22 points higher than the National average of 1498.
• Cobb’s overall 2012 SAT score declined 2 points from the previous year, while state averages increased 7 points. The national average decreased 2 points.
• A total of 5,790 graduating seniors in Cobb voluntarily took the SAT in 2012. This represents 81% of the total graduating senior class, which is unchanged from 2011.
• Seven Cobb high schools had an increase of more than ten points in the SAT total over last year: Hillgrove (58), Kennesaw Mtn (34), Allatoona (21), Sprayberry (20), Campbell (19), Walton (18), and South Cobb (14).
• Eight Cobb high schools had SAT total scores higher than the national average: Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, Pope, Walton, Wheeler.
• The number of male students taking the SAT was 2734, (47%). The number of females taking the test was 3068 (53%). The average score for male seniors was 1528, ten points lower than last year, while the average for female seniors increased seven points from 1509 in 2010, to 1516 in 2011.
• 81% of the test takers were English-only speaking students. 11% percent identified themselves as speaking English and one other language. 7% percent of the testing seniors identified themselves as speaking a language other than English.
• Seniors taking the SAT identified their ethnicity as:

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• Seniors identifying themselves as Native American scored 49 points above last year’s average for that student group. The total score for African American students was up 16 points, and for White students the score was unchanged.
• 28% of the test takers indicated their parents had a high school diploma or associate degree. 39% percent indicated their parents had a Bachelor’s or 4-year degree. 24% percent of the testing seniors indicated their parents had a graduate or professional degree.
• 2012 Seniors taking the SAT identified their family income as:
less than $60,000 42%
$60,000 to less than $120,000 35%
$120,000 and above 23%
• District-wide, the self-reported overall GPA for the seniors taking the SAT was 3.27.

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COBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
SCHOLASTIC ASSESSMENT TESTS (SAT) SCORES*
2010 to 2012

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Table source from the Marietta Daily Journal dated 10-1-2012

Notice that Lassiter, Pope, Walton, and Wheeler exceeds the top SAT in all neighboring school districts. However, individual schools SAT scores in neighboring school districts may be as high or higher than individual Cobb schools.

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