Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fla. SAT scores stable, below national average

Florida high school seniors again scored below the national average on the SAT college entrance exam, with the class of 2010 scoring slightly lower than 2009 did.

Test results released Monday show Florida students scoring an average of 496 in critical reading, 498 in math and 479 in writing, out of a maximum 800 points in each subject. Combined, Florida's score of 1473 was two points lower than the state scored in 2009 and 37 points below the national combined average of 1509. The state scored below average in every category: the national averages were 501 in reading, 516 in math and 492 in writing.

A record 102,741 of students took the exam in Florida, about 2,500 more students than 2009.

Some good news for Florida came from minority students, who generally scored better than their counterparts nationally.

Among racial and ethnic groups in Florida, students of Mexican heritage made the largest gains in each subject, jumping 10 points in writing and 9 in reading. Black and Hispanic students overall achieved higher scores in math and reading than their respective racial and ethnic groups nationwide.

It was that news that state Education Commissioner Eric Smith focused on. The College Board, which administers the test, said 2010 was Florida's most diverse group to take the test; 48.5 percent come from minority groups, up from 47 percent last year.

Nationwide, the average SAT score held steady - the combined 1509 was the same score the class of 2009 received. That score is nine points lower than the average in 2006, when the writing section was added and the test shifted to a 2400-point scale.

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