Friday, September 28, 2012

SAT scores at RKA drop for second consecutive year


Seniors at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy scored an overall average of 1,333 on the 2012 Scholastic Aptitude Test, more than 160 points shy of the national mean.
New figures released on Tuesday by the College Board, the company that administers the SAT, shows H.S. 141’s composite scores took a 34-point dive in 2012.
The school’s 113 test-takers averaged a score of 438 on critical reading, 455 on mathematics and 440 on writing, meaning it was ranked 64th among more than 470 city high schools.
Average scores for RKA seniors on the college entrance exam have plummeted by 91 points in the past two years. In 2011, students averaged 1,367 on the three sections of the test. In 2010, the composite score was 1,424.
Despite the poor performance, H.S. 141 emerged as the fifth-best high school in The Bronx and the third-best in District 10.
The borough’s two flagship specialized high schools—Bronx High School of Science and High School of American Studies—came out on top, followed by Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics and Collegiate Institute for Math and Science.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was not pleased with RKA’s results.
“Clearly there’s tremendous room for improvement,” he said. “While the scores compare favorably to most schools in The Bronx and around the city, a drop of over 90 points in over two years isn’t acceptable, and neither is the citywide average.
“Apparently, the DOE policies just aren’t working, and therefore we need to redouble our efforts to improve these schools.”
Nationally, students averaged 1,498 on the test, with scores of 496 on critical reading, 514 on mathematics and 488 on writing.
Meanwhile, the overall citywide average for college-bound seniors was 1,325, a slight drop from last year’s composite score of 1,327.
As of press time, an email to RKA principal Lori O’Mara was not returned.
The maximum score on each section is 800, and 360 seniors nationwide scored a perfect 2,400.
According to the City University of New York, seniors must score at least 980 on their combined critical reading and math SAT exams to gain admission to one of the least competitive four-year colleges—Medgar Evers College.
To gain admission into Lehman College or Hunter College, students must score at least 990. Officials do not take into account results from the writing component.
The College Board estimates students need to score 1,550 on the SAT to have a 65 percent chance of averaging a B- or higher grade average in their first year of college. However, the organization said just 43 percent of test-takers in 2012 met that benchmark.
Although the city’s Class of 2012 recorded marks well below the national average of 1,498, education officials spun the results by trumpeting increased student participation.
Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said student participation spiked by 2.3 percent in 2012, compared to the national average increase of 1.2 percent.
“As we continue to raise academic standards, our students are rising to the challenge,” he said in a statement.
“Advanced Placement and SAT exams are important benchmarks along a student’s path to success in their college and careers, and I’m proud that every year, more New York City students are taking these exams.”

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