Bainbridge SAT scores stay the same

Published 12:05 pm Monday, September 30, 2013

The College Board released scores of SAT performance in 2013, detailing results by schools and districts Wednesday. Decatur County, with Bainbridge High School being the only district school, tested with an average composite score of 1329 out of a possible 2400. This, in comparison with other districts, ranks Decatur County Schools at 117 out of 179 districts in the state of Georgia.
Top ranking school districts included Forsyth County Schools, Cherokee County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Rome City Schools and Fayette County Schools. Forsyth County Schools had the highest composite score of 1580 from a possible score of 2400.
Dr. Fred Rayfield, Superintendent for Decatur County Schools, said though Bainbridge High School falls slightly below the state average composite score of 1452, the school still ranked above the average in the Southwest Georgia region.
“We are above our counterparts here in this 16-county area in the southwestern corner of the state,” Rayfield said, noting the Southwest Educational Service area average was 1315 — 14 points lower than the BHS average. “But we do want to be better than and keep improving.”
He said reaching for the state average would be a great goal to work for, but said there are many variables involved in the overall calculation of average scores.
For example, BHS encourages all of its students to test in the SAT and ACT examinations, and many students test multiple times and across different grade levels.
“The problem lies in that we do test a large number of students comparatively,” Rayfield said. “So as long as we continue to make that opportunity available to any student in our school that wants to take the SAT and we don’t steer them one way or the other — nationally studies have proven that the more students that have the opportunity to take the test can have a negative impact on your overall score.”
Principal Tommie Howell said his strategy for improving test scores is to encourage tougher courses.
“We have all kinds of test prep programs, but we really are encouraging our students to take more rigorous classes,” Howell said. “At BHS we encourage all students to take ACT and SAT. We want our students to take it period. The more times they take it, then the better they will score in the end.”
BHS statistics showed SAT scores were up slightly from last year. In 2012 BHS scored a composite 134, down from 1331 in 2011.
Average critical reading scores went up by 11 points from 2012 to 461; average match scores were up eight points to 435 and writing scores decreased by 11 points to 433.

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