SAT scores exceed averages
SAT scores once again exceed state and national averages
Posted on 08/25/2009
Floyd County Schools’ SAT scores released on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 were once again well above the state and national average scores. Floyd County Schools, as a system, had the highest score ever recorded at 1552; an increase of 34 points over last year. Armuchee High had the highest score among Floyd County high schools with a score of 1588, a 14 point increase over last year. All four Floyd County high schools netted increases over last year with Coosa High posting the largest increase of 61 points and a score of 1539. Pepperell High’s score increased 39 points to 1551. Model High posted a 21 point increase with a score of 1533. All four high schools were well above the state (1460) and national (1509) averages. 

Floyd County students achieved a verbal score of 522, a math score of 518 and a writing score of 512; all increases over last year. Floyd County outdistanced the state and nation on each section of the test. The state scored 490 on verbal, 491 on math and 479 on writing. The national average was 501 verbal, 515 math and 493 writing. This is the fourth year of the revised SAT. The revision to the test added a writing section for prospective college students in 2006. Floyd County Schools has experienced significant gains over the last five years in verbal and math scores. The system has also experienced success in the overall score since the writing section was added to the test. Over the last five years, the system verbal score has increased by 6 points and the math score has increased by 8 points. The overall score, since the inception of the writing component, has increased from 1464 in 2006 to 1552 in 2009. 

All four high schools in the system scored above the national average on all sections of the test. In posting the highest score in the school system, Armuchee High students achieved scores of 525 verbal, 532 math and 531 writing this year; Coosa students scored 516 verbal, 515 math and 508 writing; Model High students had 525 verbal, 509 math and 499 writing; and Pepperell students scored 523 verbal, 516 math and 512 writing. Summary statistics include results at the national, state, system, and school level are available on the Floyd County Schools’ website at www.floydboe.net

To achieve the SAT gains, Floyd County Schools made a number of academic enhancements over the last five years. Academic enhancements included an increase in the number of advanced academic courses available to students, the system partnered with Cambridge to provide SAT prep classes, the Honors College Prep advanced academic program was started, and the system introduced Georgia's first electronic classrooms that allow one teacher in a high school or middle school to teach students in all of our middle and high schools. "Our students continue to perform well on tests that measure academic performance and preparation at the state and national level," stated Dr. Lynn Plunkett, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. "Strong SAT scores are a result of our commitment to provide a rigorous curriculum for our students beginning as early as middle school and our students willingness to embrace a more challenging academic path to graduation."

Floyd County Schools has earned three honors in the Governor’s Cup SAT competition since the award’s inception in 2004. Model High won the state title last year for the top gains in SAT for Class AA. Coosa High also won the state title in 2004 and the region title in 2007.

Floyd County Schools has made the following enhancements in the academic program in recent years to improve student performance:
  • Addition of honors level classes 
  • Increased expectation for student achievement 
  • Continued improvement in SAT Prep classes offered at all high schools as part of the regular curriculum 
  • SAT Prep classes (taught by Cambridge Educational Services staff) offered during Intersession periods at no charge to the students 
  • Extensive training for English and mathematics teachers in test preparation by Cambridge Educational Services 
  • Increased emphasis on vocabulary in all core classes 
  • Increased use of SAT format in instruction 
  • Guidance and counseling focused on preparation and readiness for SAT 
  • Emphasis on summer reading 
  • SAT prep activities incorporated into daily instruction including: SAT word of the day, SAT math problem of the day, etc. 
The SAT is a college entrance exam that is developed, administered and scored by the College Board. The SAT is designed to test the subject matter learned by students in high school and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in college. The test has three sections -- critical reading, mathematics and writing – each worth 800 points, for a highest possible score of 2,400.

The SAT can be taken by any student, even if they have not been on a college bound course of study in high school. Students can take the test multiple times to improve their score during their high school career, but only the last score recorded by a student is used for SAT reporting purposes by the College Board. Colleges and universities use the student's best score for admission. Each Floyd County high school encourages students to take the test more than once to improve their standing for college admission. The College Board report does not reflect the best score of a student or a school class.

The College Board discourages the use of SAT scores to rank states, districts, and schools. Although the SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other non-school factors can have a strong influence on scores. Factors, such as courses studied in high school, family background, and educational level of the parents, can have significant influences on scores. By studying other indicators, such as retention rates, graduation rates, number of higher level academic courses taken by SAT test-takers, and scores on other standardized assessments, educators can use these data, in conjunction with SAT scores, to make data-driven decisions that impact curriculum and instruction.