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Queens Chronicle

City students make gains on SAT tests

All ethnic groups improve, city says

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:30 am

High school seniors in the city saw their average SAT scores rise by eight points this year, while students nationwide saw a three-point decline, Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced Tuesday.

More city students are taking the SAT, as well as advanced placement exams, than ever before, and the improvements are seen across all ethnic groups, the two said, asserting that the results prove the administration’s 12 years of education reforms are working.

SAT scores here still lag the national average despite the gains, however. Citing data from the College Board, which produces the tests, Bloomberg and Walcott reported that city student scores improved three points in the critical reading part of the exam to 437, while the national average stayed flat at 491; that scores here on the writing section rose three points to 433, while the national average dipped one point to 480; and that scores here on math went up two points to 463 while the national average fell two points to 503.

White students in New York saw their combined scores rise eight points, while black students’ scores went up seven points, Hispanics’ 14 points and Asians’ six points.

Meanwhile more students are also taking and passing AP exams, the city said. The number taking at least one increased 8 percent in 2013, and the number passing at least one increased 6.4 percent. As with the SAT, there were gains among all ethnic groups.

But Bloomberg touted the far greater improvements since 2002, the year he took office. The number taking an AP test has increased 107.3 percent since then, with the number passing going up by 100.4 percent.

“In the last twelve years we have turned a once failing school system around, and today’s announcement is the latest example of the progress our students are making,” Bloomberg said. “More of our students are taking the SAT and AP tests than ever before, which ought to mean lower scores because of the bigger pool of test takers — but in fact the opposite has occurred, with students here making gains even as students across the country slipped backwards.”

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