Harford County SAT scores dipped slightly overall in 2010, according to results released by the College Board on Monday, September 13, 2010. SAT scores were reported for high school seniors in three sections – math, writing and critical reading.
Compared with 2009, Harford’s scores rose two points to 523 in math; dropped five points to 483 in writing, and were flat at 507 in critical reading. Each of the three sections carries a maximum score of 800. The test is generally taken by college-bound students and considered a measure of college readiness.
The Harford County scores exceeded state and national averages in math and critical reading, but lagged in writing:
2010 SAT National Maryland HCPS
Math 516 506 523
Critical Reading 501 501 507
Writing 492 495 483
Harford Schools Superintendent Robert M. Tomback addressed the county scores at the September 13 school board meeting, saying that a review of the writing scores would be undertaken to better prepare students in the future.
The superintendent’s report was summarized by HCPS as follows:
Announced that Harford County SAT scores were steady as reflected in today’s release by the College Board. Harford County reading and math scores continue to exceed the Maryland and National averages and have held steady over the past five years. Written curriculum and the material taught by our teachers are aligned with the SAT and our results demonstrate that students are addressing the challenge of this assessment. Harford County writing scores do not demonstrate the same success and is under review by our content supervisors and Assessment Office to determine what additional steps need to be taken to prepare students for this rigorous component of the test. Staff continues to work to better prepare all of our students for the challenge of college and the workforce.
Results for individual Harford County public schools will not be available until late September or early October, according to Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications for HCPS. Kranefeld told The Dagger that the individual school reports were ordered but were not delivered, and the school system was working with the College Board to resolve the problem.
Your headline is deceptive. This “dip” is not a significant amount on this test.
Would it have killed you to say that the SAT scores remained relatively the same?
What sort of comment is that CDEV? What it have killed you?
The fact that the writing score is below the national average is a slap in to the face to the County. I can attest to the declining standards and the fact that since the county implemented the block schedule, the amount of writing has decreased substantially in the classroom.
I am sure you will defend the school system even though many of the English teachers have complained how much they had to cut back on writing assignments and novels the students used to read before the schedule.
Elaine, I agree. I understand Cdev’s point that there isn’t a huge drop, but that isn’t the point in my opinion. By implementing the block schedule, our students have lost an entire month’s worth of time in English classes. I’m not even interested in how we compare to the state average, I want our students to do so much better, the best they can possibly do. I don’t see how lessening the amount of time they spend in English classes can possibly be helpful. This is the hardest part of the SAT test so I think we should spend more time preparing them. And not just because of SAT scores! Writing is a critical part of college classes and life in general. We are doing our students a great disservice by not preparing them to the best of their ability for this life long skill.
This is not even counting the fact that colleges require essays for admission as well as scholarships. My middle child graduated from the SMA. They were taught how to write college essays, and I was shocked at her writig ability. She was accepted to her first choice of colleges, UMBC, with scholarships that cover almost her entire tuition, room and board, and that counts that she is double majoring and taking 21 credits this semester. It’s important to note that the curriculum for the SMA was written to be taught under the block schedule, instead of trying to fit a “regular” class into a schedule when it wasn’t designed to be taught that way.
On the other hand, my oldest daughter, who grduated from Fallston, never had to write more than a 2 page paper. She took honors and college prep courses, and a couple AP classes. She is a good student but really struggled with writing essays. She was accepted into her first choice of colleges, Towson University, but only received a few thousand dollars in scholarship money. She did well enough on her SAT scores that she didn’t have to take any remedial classes in her freshman year, but she did not do well in her first english course. A very large percentage of her grade was from the final essay and she did poorly in that class. HCPS did a terrible job of preparing her for future writing assignments. We can, and should, do better!
wow, do they no longer do term papers in HCPS? That was a large portion of 11th and 12th grade English (admittedly going back over 15 years now), but I don’t see why that wouldn’t still be in the curriculum. No wonder so many need remedial classes in college.
No, my daughter at Fallston never had to write a term paper. And it showed when she took an english class in college. There were a couple short 1-2 page papers but that was it. And they were more like book reports, compare and contrast I believe they were called.
The Writing section of the SAT is deceptively named. A more appropriate name would be the Grammar or English section. Yes, there is an essay, but that only counts for 30% of the writing section score. The other 70% comes from multiple choice questions where the test-taker picks out grammatical errors and corrects them. So what this really shows is not that the schools do not have enough writing (which is also true), but that most students never truly learn the basics of grammar, which, in our texting-dominated society, makes sense. This all comes from a current HCPS senior who took the SAT three times last year, and got a perfect 800 on the writing section. 🙂