Dawson County’s school chief says the system will pay closer attention to critical writing after students posted lower SAT scores.
According to state Department of Education figures, Dawson students averaged a 1,458 on the SAT during the 2008-09 school year, eight points above the public school average and just two points below the average of all the state’s schools.
“Our SAT scores dropped some from last year,” Keith Porter said. “The area that was the lowest for us was the writing scores, particularly the critical writing portion, which is an area that we will concentrate on improving this year.”
The SAT, an aptitude test that measures a student’s verbal and math abilities, is used as entrance exams for many colleges and universities. Porter noted that the SAT and similar tests are voluntary.
“With test scores, there are many variables,” he said. “Students who choose to take the test also have the option to choose how many times they will take it. We know that additional attempts increase the likelihood of improved performances, as the highest scores are compared.”
Porter added that the school system has been concentrating on increasing the number of Advanced Placement course offerings, a variable that he said could contribute to success on the SAT.
“AP courses have a level of challenge that will undoubtedly assist our students on the SAT and ACT,” he said. “Fifty students took one or more AP courses in the 2006-07 school year, and we are encouraged that 150 students are scheduled for one or more AP courses this year.”
Georgia remains one of the SAT’s 24 “high participation” states, where more than 40 percent of the students take the test, according to the state education department.