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Rockdale SAT scores above state

CONYERS - Students in Rockdale County Public Schools scored above state public school averages on the SAT this year, unlike last year. Results released by the College Board and the Georgia Department of Education this week showed RCPS students continued to score below the average of national public schools.

The total system average was 1,463, compared to the state public school average of 1,453 and the national public school average of 1,495. Last year, the system average of 1,449 was below both the state and national averages of 1,472 and 1,511, respectively.

"We are pleased to see significant increase in our SAT scores and have both the SAT and ACT scores above the state average. However, there is still work to be done to meet the overall national average for SAT," said RCPS Superintendent Samuel King in a news release. "We eagerly await the release of the disaggregated results for the SAT to compare the performance of our subgroups with their peers at the national level. Last year, our subgroups outperformed their peers nationally, and we hope to see that again."

The SAT, which is given seven times per year at various locations in the United States, is one college entrance exam used at most colleges and universities in Georgia and across the world. It is graded on a scale of 200 to 800 in each section of critical reading, math and writing.

In comparison to overall testing averages, which include private and independent schools, RCPS averages were below the state average of 1,466 and the national average of 1,511.

King said the school system has organized an Academic Rigor Leadership Task Force to attempt to increase the number of RCPS students taking Advanced Placement and "high-level academic electives," who tend to outperform those students who don't do well on standardized testing.

Individual school averages show that Heritage and Salem high schools scored above the state in all three test sections and showed that Rockdale County High School students overall scored below the state and national levels. Averages at RCHS include students in the Rockdale Magnet School of Science and Technology.

The results also show that the number of RCPS students taking the SAT this year decreased from last year. This year, 543 students took the test - 181 at Heritage, 199 at Salem and 163 at RCHS; last year, 573 took the test - 201 at Heritage, 225 at Salem and 150 at RCHS.

On another college entrance exam, the ACT, or the American College Test, average results showed that students in RCPS scored 0.2 point above the state, but 0.3 point below the nation. The number of RCPS students taking the ACT increased by 18 students this year.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.