Norwalks SAT scores rise, but Rivera sounds note of caution

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk students overall showed improvement in SAT Colllege Board scores in 2013, but Superintendent of Schools Manny Rivera expressed concern in a memo dated Sept 27 to Board of Education members about the rate of participation of black students in the SAT Reasoning Test program.

Rivera said data shows that black students comprise 19.2 percent of the test takers in 2013, down from 21.6 percent in 2012. In addition, black students scores dropped six points in reading and one point in writing, and gained a point in math.

Overall, Norwalk’s Class of 2013 had 522 seniors take the SAT – a standard test used by most colleges to help determine admission – a 74.9 percent participation rate, on par with the 2012 rate, the memo said. Participation was up at Brien McMahon from 72 percent to 77.5 percent, while it fell at Norwalk High from 79.4 percent to 75.9 percent.

White students made up 41.6 percent of the test takers, down .3 percent from a year ago. White students in the Class of 2013 posted solid gains: eight points in math, 10 points in reading and 12 points in writing.

Hispanic students made up 28.9 percent of the tests takers, up from 24.8 percent a year earlier. Students who identified as “Other Hispanic” gained 11 points in math and one point in writing, the memo said. Reading scored, though, dropped five points. Still, the 2013 average SAT scores for Norwalk’s Hispanic students were higher than comparable subgroups at the state and national level, the memo said.

The SAT Benchmark Score of 1550 is a strong predictor of success in college. In 2013, 36 percent of Norwalk students taking the test hit the benchmark, compared with 43 percent nationally, according to the memo. In 2012, Norwalk’s rate was 30 percent. The national figure is based on students from public, religious and independent schools.



7 responses to “Norwalks SAT scores rise, but Rivera sounds note of caution”

  1. Don’t Panic

    Mr. Rivera might do well to focus on economic status. He might find that the determining factor is which students can afford the $50 to take the test.
    Waivers are available, but that is an added barrier that must be overcome.

  2. Bill Dunne

    The last paragraph says, “The SAT Benchmark Score of 1550 is a strong predictor of success in college.”
    It sure is. But I doubt that more than a third of Norwalk SAT takers (or 43% nationally) hit that mark, as it is only a shade below a perfect SAT score of 1600. Or at least that was the perfect SAT score last time I looked.

  3. Bruce Kimmel

    I certainly agree with Superintendent Rivera: Generally, when the number of students, overall or in a subgroup, goes down, the scores go up. Here we seem to have the opposite trend. I hope the BOE examines this development.

  4. More of the Same

    Bill, SAT is on a scale of 2400 now. And you get to keep your highest score, so you can take it as many times as you want. 1600 was the old scale and retaking it would only average into your past history. This change was done so colleges could justify taking on more enrollment.
    I don’t know if it is right or wrong because everyone is entitled to a bad day, but allowing children to go to college who have only developed basic algebra skills is the real problem. Not SATs. Again here we are trying to game the test instead of fixing the core problems. God help us and our children.

  5. Herb Eaversmels

    SAT scoring goes up to 2400 now and has been this way since 2005. There are three sections: Readding, Writing and Math. The average total score is 1500.

  6. Dr. Rivera was right to note the concerns with the SAT scores amidst a generally rising score level. The weakness on reading, to me, is critical; our minority students showed drops there even while increasing their math scores. We are now completing implementation of our new Common Core English language program for grades 6-12, which is directly intended to address this issue and improve reading competencies, particularly for disadvantaged students. We also expect a recommendation from Dr. Rivera on the K-5 English program within the next 60 days.

  7. Bill Dunne

    My mistake. Now I recall that happening but forgot.

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