Dundalk, Sparrows Point Make Top SAT Gains
The just-released 2011 Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT results show increased participation in both tests by Baltimore County Public Schools students. Overall, SAT scores fell, however.
The just-released 2011 Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT results show increased participation in both tests by Baltimore County Public Schools students and a continued rise in the number of AP exams passed, the school system announced Wednesday.
While Baltimore County Public Schools overall experienced an average decline of 24 points in SAT scores from 2010 to 2011, Dundalk, Sparrows Point, Lansdowne, Milford Mill and Western School of Technology saw an increase in scores, according to the school system press release.
The singled largest gain in average score, 38 points, was at Dundalk, followed by Western, which saw a 34-point increase.
The effort at Dundalk to turn around the long-struggling school was profiled by The Baltimore Sun last month in a story that can be found here.
Here is the entire press release from Baltimore County Schools:
"The just-released 2011 Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT results confirm increased participation in both tests by Baltimore County Public Schools students and a continued rise in the number of AP exams passed.
The number of AP exams taken—10,251 during the 2010-2011 school year—has increased 27 percent over the past 5 years. The number of AP exams passed (scored 3, 4, or 5) has increased 18 percent in the same time period. The exams with the highest number of passing students were English language and composition (937), psychology (694), U.S. history (621), English literature and composition (613), and calculus AB (482).
'The number of students participating in Advanced Placement courses in a school is a solid indicator of overall academic quality,' said Dr. Joe A. Hairston, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. 'To take and be successful in an Advanced Placement course, students must have strong preparation in earlier coursework and must be part of a school community that expects high academic achievement.'
In 1992-1993, the AP participation rate for Baltimore County Public Schools was about 2 percent; last school year, the system’s participation rate was 17 percent. Typically, school systems expect pass rates to decline when larger numbers of students are encouraged to take highly rigorous Advanced Placement courses. The Baltimore County Public Schools pass rate, which is nearly 64 percent, exceeds the national rate, which is around 60 percent.
In addition, the number of seniors taking the SAT exam rose from 4,228 in 2010 to 4,532 in 2011—an increase of 304 students. Kenwood, Chesapeake, Franklin and Lansdowne high schools and Western School of Technology each had an increase of at least 30 more students taking the SAT in the class of 2011 than in the prior class.
'These increases in AP and SAT participation reflect our efforts system-wide to increase academic rigor and create a college-bound culture in Baltimore County Public Schools,' said Hairston. 'While we recognize that not every student will attend college, it is our responsibility to prepare all of our students for whichever path they choose. Moreover, we know that global competition and greater technology necessitate all students having the same strong thinking and communications skills.'
Through its longstanding partnership with the College Board, which administers the PSAT/NSMQT, Baltimore County Public Schools provides funding so that all Grade 10 and Grade 11 students can take the PSAT/NSMQT at no charge to them or their families. The test provides practice for the SAT and provides BCPS educators with important assessments of student strengths and challenges.
Five schools had average combined 2011 SAT scores greater than 1600: Towson High (1694), Dulaney High (1671), Hereford High (1664), George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology (1622) and Eastern Technical High (1612). Two of these schools—Towson and Dulaney—were also among the five high schools with the largest number of test takers in the class of 2011: Dulaney (399), Perry Hall (298), Towson (292), Franklin (286) and Hereford (282).
SAT scores tend to decline as the number of students taking the tests increases. While Baltimore County Public Schools overall experienced a decline (of 24 points) from 2010 to 2011, five high schools achieved gains: Dundalk, Lansdowne, Milford Mill, Sparrows Point and Western School of Technology. The largest gains were at Dundalk (38 points) and Western (34 points)."