Fayette’s SAT scores slide 7 points

Tue, 08/28/2007 - 4:07pm
By: John Thompson

McIntosh High leads with 1625, while FCHS bottoms out at 1466, a drop of 43 points

Fayette County mirrored the rest of the state as the county saw its 2007 Scholastic Aptitude Test scores drop. That includes one local high school whose score fell 43 points from last year.

Even so, the county's overall average boosted Fayette to fourth in the state.

The county’s district-wide score of 1548 dropped seven points from last year’s score of 1555, according to the Georgia Department of Education’s website.

This is the second year of the revised SAT that features a writing section. A perfect score on the test is now 2400, compared to the old 1600.

The state’s average SAT score was 1472 in 2007, the state website says. Like the entire nation, Georgia saw a drop in its SAT scores in 2007. Georgia’s score dropped 5 points from the previous year, while the nation fell 7 points to 1511.

McIntosh High School paced the Fayette schools with a 1625 score, while Starr’s Mill students had an average score of 1605.

Whitewater High School students were measured for the first time last year and finished third in the county with an average score of 1517.

Sandy Creek students scored 1478, while Fayette County High students had a score of 1466, lowest of the five schools tested.

Compared to last year’s scores, Sandy Creek’s scores improved 21 points, Starr’s Mill students had the same score and McIntosh dropped off four points.

The biggest drop in the county was at Fayette County High, which saw its average score drop 43 points.

Demographics of the five schools paint a mixed picture.

The school with the highest minority percentage — 46.5 percent (as of 2005) — was Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, which saw its score increase over last year by 21 points to 1478. It ranked fourth out of the five high schools with an average of 1478, 147 points behind McIntosh.

The school with the lowest minority portion — Starr's Mill with 13 percent — had the same SAT average as last year, but came in 20 points below McIntosh, which has the second lowest minority percentage with 19.2 percent.

FCHS, with a minority population of 38.1 percent in 2005 — second highest in the county — saw its average fall 43 points from last year.

According to the state's website, 159 points separates the SAT leader in Fayette from the bottom-ranked school.

Whitewater with 18.3 percent minorities — second lowest in the county — came in third in the SAT averages at 1517.

“Although our scores dropped a little from last year, we are still pleased with how our students performed on the SAT," Fayette Superintendent John DeCotis said in a prepared statement.

"Once again Fayette’s score is soaring above both the state and national average thanks to the hard work of our dedicated teachers, administrators, students and parents. While Fayette’s scores are high, there is room for improvement. We will work to determine why our score dropped this year and, based on what we determine, take the appropriate measures to help all of our students perform at their personal best,” said DeCotis.

Overall, Fulton County led the state with a combined 1595 average score. Fayette was fourth in the state behind Fulton, the city of Decatur and Oconee County. Cherokee County also had a 1548 average.

Shortly after the scores were released, Gov. Sonny Perdue weighed in on the issue.

“While we never like to gain ground by allowing our scores to go down, Georgia was again able to close the gap with the national average, continuing a positive trend for the sixth year in a row,” said Perdue. “Today we learned from the College Board that while the state of Georgia and the nation as a whole saw a dip in 2007 SAT scores, Georgia continues to have outstanding participation rates and our minority students are scoring higher than the national average for minorities. Our African-American and Hispanic public school students’ average scores continue to outpace their counterparts around the nation with higher scores in most areas of the test.”

According to the release, Georgia’s African-American students outscored their national counterparts by five points in the critical reading section and by five points in the writing sections of the test.

Hispanic students in Georgia outscored their national counterparts by 23 points in the critical reading section, 16 points in the writing section and 18 points in the math portion of the test.

“I am proud that we strive to make the SAT accessible to all students in Georgia,” said Gov. Perdue. “We’ve increased the number of students who take the SAT by offering free online SAT prep courses and increased access to rigorous Advanced Placement courses. By increasing the number of students who take the SAT, we are increasing the number of students who may pursue a post-secondary education, hopefully in Georgia.”

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Submitted by onlyrealcat on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 9:08am.

again we did very good on the most important test scores. now you know why we are the only real cat in town! all the schools did a good job and whitewater beat both fayette county and sandy creek.

The only real cat in town

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 9:21am.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 12:31pm.

Did anyone look at their results. I sure hope they keep their accreditation. They're the lowest in the metro area.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by notjustcomplaining on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 7:25am.

Guess what? The issue in Clayton county is not a race issue, it's a parental involvement issue. Lived there, saw it, then moved to PTC.

Parental involvement in the school system is what Fayette has long been known for. Not just PTC, but all over. It would be interesting to see the correlation between two income homes and test scores. My bet is that the more parents away from the home, the lower the score. Imagine that! But you know what? The technology available helps you stay connected even if you're working. I know loads of parents checking grades daily in mygradebook.com all the way into high school.

So the bottom line is, stay connected to your kids daily school life, stress the importance of grades and the correlation to a better lifestyle/income, and voila! You have kids who get it....

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 10:28am.

I'm curious as to how the differences in our two counties are compared.

Everyone, whether Democrat or Republican, recognizes the dying conditions in Clayton. Both recognize that as to the skin reflecting qualities of the majority of their citizens, that those whose skin reflect less light, tend to live in communities that have poorer living conditions, higher crime rates committed by and to their own populations, and by the way, often vote in block as democrats.

So is it about race,i.e. the reflective qualities about our skins types, or is it about a culture that embraces as normal single parent homes. Who have families run by grandmothers. Whose siblings are frequently only related through their mother's bloodline. Where working against the odds in becoming a professional athlete or rapper is bet upon rather than in an education and family?

So which is it? Is it race or is it the culture that makes Clayton and Fayette so very different.

For me, I welcome anyone who wants to come to Fayette to join us here, but don't bring that culture with you. Don't bring the crime, low family values, and disregard for education with you when you come. And oh yeah, learn to think for yourselves rather than in doing whatever your self appointed religious leaders tell you to do.

Quit being a victim and thank God in heaven that although things are not as fair as you may want them to be, that here in the USA, we have more opportunities for success than any where else in the world, and especially when compared to Africa.

Is this a racist comment or merely a factual recitation of the cultural differences that are found in Clayton and Fayette? I suspect, I'll be labeled a racist, God knows it won't be the first or last time, but I'll not hold my tongue merely because my opinion might be shouted down by those that want to blame someone else for their lot in life.

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Submitted by Cyclist on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 8:17am.

See my earlier post below. We are in agreement. BTW, I didn't mention "Race".
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Daniel Ross on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 9:49am.

Could it be that more college-prep kids took the ACT rather than the SAT and the ones taking the SAT were taking it because they had to in order to get into a lower level school? Yes, they could have taken both, but it was already reported that more students this year took the ACT than the SAT.

I'd be interested to see the ACT scores for Fayette County schools.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 9:54am.

You might have a point. It seems the focus is always on SAT.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 8:19am.

Fayette is slowly loosing part of it's 'majority' population to Coweta and the test scores show it. Northgate over all 1515, Newnan High 1518, even East Coweta 1481, look at Sandy Creek 1478, and FCHS 1466. There is no way to smooth it over, these schools are loosing ground and the FCBOE is doing nothing about it. They need to redraw the lines, and let the other schools share the burden of what has been put on the Tyrone area. Smola, you have helped ruin our schools!

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Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 8:42am.

Is that all it will take? How about parents taking control of their child's education and ensuring that learning does not start and stop at the school's front door!!!!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

poipendicular's picture
Submitted by poipendicular on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 11:04am.

So true. It's a different mentality than what we grew up with. That's what tutors and prep courses are for. Parents looming over their kid's head watching them do the homework, or helping them look the info up. It's why there are so many troubled kids, of all races and economics. Parents aren't their for the kids being parents.

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