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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Greeley Colorado's Future--SAT's are in

Considering all the chatter about Greeley's District 6 Mill Levy Tax Override I thought this small foray into the statistical trends facing the nation may be worthy of consideration. Today's kids are our future workforce and government. Greeley Colorado, whether special interests like it not, rides above a fifty-percent hispanic population. Couple that with lower per capita income for the northern colorado area and Greeley has a big future problem staring it in the face. It doesn't take courage or a leap of faith to make that speculation.

Time for the community to get serious about education and fixing those performance gaps by focusing on the lower performers.

Minority Participation, Scores Up for Some of the Washington Area's Class of '09 - > Education
Minority Participation, Scores Up for Some of the Class of '09

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By Nick Anderson and Emma Brown
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Four out of 10 students who take the SAT are racial or ethnic minorities, the College Board reported Tuesday, a milestone for the college admissions test most widely used in the nation and the Washington region.

But scores of the wealthiest students are growing faster than scores of the poorest, and some racial disparities in test performance are widening.

Narrowing such achievement gaps has become a key issue. Loudoun County schools, contrary to the national trend, reported that average SAT scores for black and Hispanic students rose faster than for white students.

For the 1.5 million students nationwide in the Class of 2009 who took the 3-hour, 45-minute test, composite scores were 501 in critical reading, down one point from the year before; 515 in mathematics, unchanged; and 493 in writing, down one point. Those figures include results from public and private schools. The grading scale is 200 to 800 points for each section.

During the past decade, math scores have risen four points, and reading scores dropped four.

The College Board, a New York-based nonprofit organization that oversees the test, stressed participation trends, not scores. The 40 percent minority share of test-takers was up from 38 percent a year ago and 29.2 percent in 1999.

"We are tremendously encouraged by the increasing diversity of participation in the SAT," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "As the equity gap narrows, more than ever, the SAT reflects the diversity of students in our nation's classrooms."

But one of the SAT's leading critics pointed to widening score gaps by race and income, despite many efforts to raise performance of disadvantaged students through the federal No Child Left Behind law. For example, black student scores fell four points (to 1276), while white scores fell two points (to 1581). Scores for students whose families earned more than $200,000 shot up 26 points (to 1702), while scores for those whose families earn $60,000 a year or less were unchanged or rose only slightly.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the nation cannot test its way to better educational quality or equity," said Bob Schaeffer of the advocacy organization FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

The SAT counted about 110,400 test-takers from Maryland, Virginia and the District in the Class of 2009, up from about 109,900 in 2005.

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