Fayette’s SAT scores 3rd in Georgia

Tue, 08/29/2006 - 4:53pm
By: John Thompson

Fayette County school officials jubilantly released the school system’s Scholastic Aptitude Test scores Tuesday.

Fayette’s district-wide score of 1555 was third in the state for districts that had more than one high school. Only Cherokee County with a score of 1565, and Fulton with a 1580 score surpassed Fayette.

Fayette’s score was 79 points above the state average of 1477 and 39 over the national average 1517, said school spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach in a press release Tuesday.

“We are extremely pleased with how our students performed on the new SAT. This high performance is a direct result of dedicated teachers, administrators, students and parents. While Fayette’s scores remain among the best in the state and nation, there is room for improvement. We will continue to systematically evaluate our overall educational program to help ensure that our schools are bringing the best education possible to all students,” said Superintendent John DeCotis.

McIntosh led the Fayette contingent with a score of 1629, which was 16th best for a single school in the state. Starr’s Mill students scored 1605 and finished 20th in the state, followed by Fayette County’s 1509 and Sandy Creek’s 1457.

Statewide, Georgia improved from a tie for last place in 2005 with South Carolina to 46th. State officials said Georgia bypassed Florida, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

“Better SAT scores mean that more of our students are getting into the colleges and universities of their choice,” said State School Superintendent Kathy Cox in a press release. “For too long our rank overshadowed the truth — that Georgia has some of the best teachers and brightest students in the country. Today’s results are just another example of the great work that is going on in Georgia’s classrooms.”

This is the first year of the “new” SAT. The new test features the addition of a writing section where students are asked to write an essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use reasoning and examples to support their position. The writing section also includes multiple-choice questions that measure a student’s ability to identify sentence errors, improve sentences and improve paragraphs.

Also new on the test is the addition of Algebra II to the math section, gone are quantitative comparisons, and analogies have been removed from the critical reading section. A perfect score on the new test is 2400, compared to the old gold standard of 1600.

Editor's note: The initial story was filed with incorrect data from the Department of Education's Web site. This story contains the correct scores.

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Submitted by 30YearResident on Wed, 09/06/2006 - 8:34pm.

A valid question that no one in the school system will answer:

We brag on the high SAT scores in Fayette County Schools. But, how many of these kids received their secondary education "Somewhere else" ?

I'd like to see a breakdown of the SAT scores of kids that received their 1 thru 12 schooling in Fayette county... then maybe, 7 thru 12.... then maybe 9 thru 12.

Fayette is a transient county. We have many residents that came in from other areas of the country where their kids got an excellent basis in secondary schooling.

I'm not so sure that kids who attended Fayette County schools from the beginning will fare as well.

But the BoE won't break that down.... it'll not show them in a good light and they know it.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Thu, 08/31/2006 - 10:38am.

But when I average all the Fulton Co SAT scores from each school, I get an average of 1489. I'm not sure the figures you have are correct. They did come most likely from the AJC. Unless the individual scores from each Fulton school are incorrect, 1489 is the correct average.

Submitted by bowser on Thu, 08/31/2006 - 11:28am.

The average as stated in the AJC is per student, not per school.

Interestingly, when you look at Cherokee, a surprise no. 2 ahead of Fayette on this year's list, they have not a single school as high as Mac or Starr's Mill. But their 4 schools are remarkably consistent -- all between 1550 and 1599.

To the extent these rankings are meaningful -- and they are to property values even if you don't have a kid in the hunt -- we can only hope that Whitewater will lift the fayette average when it kicks in, because SCHS is sure pulling it down....

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:18pm.

per student, like you say...

I agree, it does matter, about the Scores. A good school system is a big part of Real Estate Sales numbers.

Submitted by Oguard on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 3:07pm.

Fayette County scores are down since I first moved here - if you adjust back to the 1200 scale. How can they be happy about the scores - the trend concerns me.

Also - McIntosh barely in the top ten - both Stars Mill and McIntosh used to be were higher - things are slipping - but leave to our school system to pat themselves on the back.

Submitted by fcone on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 6:02pm.

There is a trend in Fayette County and in the state away from holding students responsible for learning, but rather, the goal is to make the students "enjoy learning" (make it fun) and keep the parents happy. It used to be that because of the high expectations of the parents in Fay. Co. we could try any fad that came along, and our children would still succeed (and we would pat ourselves on the back), but now parents are less involved and the fruit of these new styles of teaching are really going to show up in our performance statistics. IMO, the only way that we are going to turn this around is for there to be a parent outcry for a return to high standards and challenging (not always fun) teaching. The students like it just the way it is, and so would I have at their age. I'm glad my opinion didn't count back then. I would bet that, if you could check, grades are rising as test scores are falling. Ask your children how hard they are having to work for those As and Bs. My 9th grader says that this is his easiest year so far. Very little homework and lots of fun activities. I guess this is the wave of the future.

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Submitted by farrahfawcettfawn on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:59pm.

Upon further perusing the information on the Ga. Public School website I have come to the conclusion that FCBOE better wake up and look at what is going wrong at Sandy Creek! For instance, East Coweta, a school that is doing so poorly 2 years in a row that Coweta has to offer transfers to other high schools in the county, Score: 1490! Newnan High, not traditionally thought of as a great school. Score: 1488! Grady High in Atlanta: Score: 1544!! Come on, at least let's meet the sub-standard state of Georgia average! This isn't going to go away and don't hide behind the McIntosh scores on this. Address the issue, NOW!!

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 3:02pm.

It is possible that it's not "cool" to be smart at Sandy Creek? I hope not.

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Submitted by farrahfawcettfawn on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 1:15pm.

My first time here-I had to comment on this. I can't believe the score out of Sandy Creek!!!!! Parents should demand to know what is going on to make the scores go down like this!!! I heard someone call it "SANDYCREEKSIDE"-guess it fits. Maybe some new administration, school board????? Whatever you do, do it in a hurry before it's too late!!!!!

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 3:36pm.

Heellllooooo the only thing that needs replacing are the lazy kids and their lazy parents.

Just because you moved from Clayton county does'nt mean you will automatically be successful in school.

Some of you will have to hire tutors, some will have to go to Silavn Learning center. Some will have to sit down be quite and listen for a dadgum change.!!

The only thing the administration can do is start to discipline bullies to keep them from disturbing the good students who are there to learn. The curriculum is the same for every school in Fayette County, it is up to you to decide to learn, or not. Which will you choose?? Do you want to be successful, or do you want to be unemployed?

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Submitted by farrahfawcettfawn on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 4:04pm.

and the appostrophe doesn't go after the s in doesn't. Ha, ha, and whatever makes you think I moved here from Clayton? I attended Fayette Co. schools in the 70s/80s and graduated from McIntosh. I did learn how to spell, by the way. So, the curriculum is the same in all schools?-my point exactly!! Sandy Creek should be more in line with the other schools, not over 100 points below!!! As I stated, something more is going on in that school besides lazy parents/kids-maybe lazy administrators who aren't monitoring what's going on in the classroom? Why such a big drop in one year? I guess you think the kids suddenly decided they were going to play dumb???!!!! I don't believe that's the root of this problem.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 4:26pm.

Your kids can decide to learn or not. More reading less gangsta/bullying.

The teachers and the administration at that school really haven't changed........so what has changed? What demographic has changed?

Submitted by RT Tugger on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:17pm.

Boy, I'll echo those sentiments! The superintendent is "extremely pleased" with the results? Let's tell it like it is. Sandy Creek's scores are very troublesome. What's up?! That school didn't even reach the state average, which itself is below the national average? It seems our kids spend the better part of the school year, from first grade on up, preparing for standardized tests. I'm told by school officials that the same curriculum is taught throughout Fayette County schools, yet we have a 186 point difference between McIntosh and Sandy Creek? I couldn't be less pleased with this news.

Submitted by bowser on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 6:59am.

Not that it really matters, but AJC charts show Fulton County with top metro system score of 1580, followed by Cherokee and then Fayette in 3rd. The North Fulton schools really pull up Fulco scores.

The big gap between Mac/Starrs Mill and FHS/Sandy Creek is very worrisome. I don't remember Sandy Creek being that far behind in years past....but maybe it was and the new scores just amplify it.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 2:35pm.

Fulton's average should be 1489...not that it matters.

Submitted by Like it is on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:59am.

That big gap you describe can be explianed simply by looking at the racial makeup of the four schools. Fayette County & Sandy Creek have a higher black student population. Not being racial, just pointing out that facts.

If you'll notice, Sandy Creek's score was below the State average. Sandy Creek is now, what North Clayton was 25 years ago. You'd think that a generation would improve things - not so!!!

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 12:11pm.

In order to improve you have to put forth some effort. Good scores don't happen by accident, and they don't happen just because you move from one county to another.

Submitted by CDog on Wed, 08/30/2006 - 9:27pm.

Research has always shown a strong correlation between socioeconomic status and SAT scores and between race and SAT scores. Granted, the first maxim of statisitcs is that correlation does not necessarily imply causation; however, socioeconomic status and race give some idea of the population a school is working with. Compare the average median or per capita incomes among the varying high school districts. SCHS's is the lowest. Compare the percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunches. SCHS's is the highest. Compare the racial demographics. SCHS has the highest black population. Where do all the "transfer" students from Creekside, Mundy's Mill, and other Clayton and South Fulton high schools go when they "move" to Fayette County ("move" = living with grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc. who live in county)? SCHS. The vast majority go to Sandy Creek. I am not making excuses for SCHS. This is a real problem that needs to be fixed, but there are so many factors involved in a student's SAT performance over which schools and teachers have absolutely no control. Be sure you are not comparing apples and oranges. Please don't judge SCHS as a whole based on its Clayton/Creekside subpopulation. If McIntosh and SCHS simply traded school populations but kept the same teachers and administrators, the SAT scores would reverse, guaranteed.

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Submitted by All Smiles on Wed, 09/06/2006 - 8:56pm.

You are 100% Correct!!!! There are people out there that think both I and CDOG are wrong and that I sit at home on my couch eating bon-bons. It seems CDOG took Sociology in college too! Just for some of you defenders of low grades, I work full time, was a single mom for some years and now live in a "blended" family. I graduated from college when I was 31 years old. Hard work and good grades pay off!! All of you who complained about me should focus their energy on helping their children become better with higher education.
P.S. Take a Sociology class while you're at it!

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