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WLHS students outperform state, nation

Student SAT performance decreased slightly overall compared to previous scores


Students at West Linn High School continue to outperform students statewide and nationally on the SAT, according to the SAT Report on College and Career Readiness. However, West Linn student performance decreased slightly overall when compared to scores in both 2011 and 2010.

The report was compiled by the College Board and released through the Oregon Department of Education on Sept. 24. Results measured SAT scores in writing, mathematics and critical reading.

Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney said the slight decrease in test scores is due to variations among groups of students and the increase in the number of students taking the test. In 2012, 290 West Linn High School students took the SAT compared with 265 students in 2011 and 247 students in 2010.

“One of the things we know is that as more students take a test it’s not uncommon to see a little drop in the average,” Stickney said.

Overall, the school district is pleased with the results.

“We’ve come to expect our students to perform well in the state and across the nation,” Stickney said. “We are proud of them and proud of the families and teachers that support them.”

Below are the following SAT results:

Critical Reading

WLHS students scored 556 in 2010 compared to Oregon, 523, and nationally, 501.

WLHS students scored 560 in 2011 compared to Oregon, 520, and nationally 497.

WLHS students scored 553 in 2012 compared to Oregon, 521, and nationally 496.

Mathematics

WLHS students scored 570 in 2010 compared to Oregon, 524, and nationally, 516.

WLHS students scored 567 in 2011 compared to Oregon, 521, and nationally, 514.

WLHS students scored 562 in 2012 compared to Oregon, 523, and nationally, 514.

Writing

WLHS students scored 530 in 2010 compared to Oregon, 499, and nationally, 492.

WLHS students scored 537 in 2011 compared to Oregon, 499, and nationally, 489.

WLHS students scored 529 in 2012 compared to Oregon, 498, and nationally, 488.

The SAT aims to predict success in a student’s first year of college. High school juniors commonly take the test and, according to the College Board, most students take the test twice. Some colleges require SAT scores with applications.

The West Linn-Wilsonville School District encourages students to take the SAT. The district examines SAT scores as a way to measure college and career readiness, however Stickney said the scores are not the sole indicator of student readiness.

In order to measure student success, she said you have to triangulate the data from variables such as SAT scores, Advanced Placement test scores, high school graduation rates — West Linn High School has the highest graduation rate in the state — and Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests.

“If you look at all of those scores taken together, we are very proud of our students,” Stickney said. “They are performing very well.”

National, statewide results

According to the results, only 43 percent of all SATs taken in 2012 met the SAT College and Career Readiness benchmark. The benchmark represents the level of academic preparedness associated with a high likelihood of college success and completion.

Yet Oregon students perform well above the national average. Last years’ Oregon graduates performed slightly better on the test overall with increases in both reading and math scores. Writing results held steady.

“Today’s results are promising,” Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton said. “More of our students are taking advanced coursework and graduating from high school with college credits in hand. We need to build on this momentum and continue to increase both participation and performance if we are to prepare our students for higher education and meet our state’s 40-40-20 goal.”

The number of students taking the test has also increased. Fifty-one percent of Oregon public school graduates in 2012 took the SAT — a total of 15,858 — which is slightly higher than last year.

Curriculum indicates success

Studies show that academic preparedness for college is in large part dependent on the type and rigor of the courses students take in high school.

According to the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon students who took a strong core curriculum (four or more years of English and three or more years of math, science and social science) performed significantly better on the SAT. Students who took Advanced Placement, honors or other accelerated courses had even stronger results.

This past year, Oregon saw an increase in the number of graduates who took at least one Advanced Placement course and also saw an increase in the number of graduates receiving a 3 or higher on the AP test — the score generally associated with receiving college credit.

“Having more students take pre-college preparatory courses in high school, such as Advanced Placement, is the best way for students to ensure greater success once they go to college,” Melody Rose, vice chancellor for academic strategies with the Oregon University System said. “It is a very positive trend that more students are engaged in college prep work, doing better on their SATs and are better prepared for the rigor of their college-level studies.”

It’s no wonder then why West Linn students outperformed students on the SAT both state and nationwide. The West Linn-Wilsonville School District offers 19 Advanced Placement courses and the selection increases each year.

Last year, the school district was even placed on the Advanced Placement Honor Roll by the College Board. The district was given this honor for not only having increased the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests, but increasing overall performance.

For more information on Oregon or National SAT results, visit collegeboard.org/SATPress.




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