Coweta above state/national on SAT scores

The 2009-2010 school year has come to a close. SAT Reasoning Test scores for the school year are being tabulated across Georgia and the United States and those figures will be released around Labor Day. But how did Coweta County schools fare recently compared to the state and national averages?

Formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, SAT tests historically included Math and Verbal components, each with a maximum score of 800. A Writing component was added in 2006 that also carried a maximum score of 800. Today’s new SAT has a combined maximum score of 2,400.

Coweta County School System spokesperson Dean Jackson said the average 2009 SAT score for Coweta County high school students increased one point over last year's county-wide average to 1,516, putting Coweta County's average on the college admissions test seven points over the national average. Overall, Coweta County's 2009 test-takers also scored 56 points above the state of Georgia's average on the SAT, he said.

"This is outstanding news for all three high schools. I congratulate our high school juniors and seniors who took the exam," said Superintendent Blake Bass. "This is the second year in a row that our school system's average SAT score exceeded the national average. 2009 was also the second year in a row that the Coweta County's SAT average increased while state and national average scores decreased.”

The national average SAT score in 2009 dropped two points to 1,509 while Georgia's average declined by six points to 1,460, Jackson said.

Jackson said that SAT overall averages for Northgate High School and Newnan High School remained above the 2009 state and national overall averages. Northgate High School showed significant improvement on average SAT scores last year, increasing 22 points over 2008 scores to an average score of 1,542. Newnan High School’s overall average decreased to 1,518 in 2009 compared to 1,526 in 2008. East Coweta High School’s overall average dipped to 1,494 n 2009 compared to 1,502 in 2008.

Jackson said all three Coweta high schools improved their overall SAT Math scores in 2009, with an increase of eight points in the county-wide SAT Math average. In 2009, Coweta County SAT test-takers scored an average of one point higher than the national average on the Math section of the exam, 10 points higher than the national average on the Verbal section of the test and four points lower on the Writing section, said Jackson.

Math scores at Northgate rose from 509 in 2008 to 522 in 2009 and those scores increased at Newnan High from 507 in 2008 to 515 last year. East Coweta also so an increase with an average score of 506 in 2008 compared to 511 in 2009.

Northgate also showed increases in the SAT Verbal and Writing components. Verbal scores rose to 522 points in 2009 compared to 518 in 2008 while Writing scores rose to 522 points over the 509 average score in 2008.

Verbal and Writing scores saw a decline at Newnan and East Coweta compared to 2008. Newnan’s Verbal score decreased from 515 in 2008 to 510 in 2009 and Writing decreased from 504 in 2008 to 493 in 2009.

Similarly at East Coweta, the 2008 average for the Verbal component was 512 compared to 504 in 2009. And the 2008 average of 484 for Writing decreased to 479 last year.

"I think this demonstrates that our students are well-prepared to enter college and compete on a national level," Bass said of the system-wide performance on the SAT tests. "I think it also demonstrates that as the rigor of our curriculum continues to increase, students and teachers are proving that they are up to the challenge."

The SAT scores for 2010 should be available in early September.