Bowdon High, Central High and Mt. Zion High all reported lower scores, with Temple High and Villa Rica High increasing by nine and 12 points, respectively.
Mt. Zion High’s cumulative average score of 1,392 was 86 points lower than 2011’s score of 1,478. Bowdon decreased 54 points to 1,427, and Central was down two points to 1,366.
The SAT scores of Georgia’s 2012 senior class increased seven points as the nation’s scores decreased two points, according to the College Board’s 2012 SAT report.
Georgia students scored 1,452 on the SAT, a seven-point increase from 2011. The national average was 1,498, a two-point decrease from 2011.
Carroll County Schools Superintendent Scott Cowart said the scores are just one measure out of many the system uses to identify student progress. Cowart also identified the growing trend of students taking the ACT as a reason for the score decreases.
“There are many other ways to track student excellence that we have improved in,” Cowart said. “Also, many students are choosing to take the ACT now, which changes the numbers a bit.”
For the first time, the ACT surpassed the SAT in national test-takers, but not by a big margin. Fewer than 2,000 participants, out of about 1.65 million who took each exam, chose the ACT over the SAT. The number taking the ACT — historically more popular in the central states, with the SAT more popular on the East and West coasts — has been growing more rapidly, partly because the ACT is now taken by virtually all students in nine states under the state testing regimen.
“Regionally, [the ACT] is becoming more accepted,” Cowart said. “I think our numbers are skewed a bit because of that.”
The growing trend of the ACT prevents a clear picture of the college preparedness of a system’s students, Cowart said.
“There’s no way to aggregate or put together those scores from those two tests,” Cowart said. “So the SAT doesn’t give us a concrete idea of how our seniors are doing when they leave the system.”
Despite the alternate test’s effect, Cowart said the system still use the SAT as a measure to receive feedback.
“When you look at Bowdon High, that’s a school that has historically done well on this test,” Cowart said. “Now we just want to make sure other schools work up to that point.”
Full scores for each of the county schools, in subjects of critical reading, math and writing, as well as the cumulative average score and 2011’s cumulative score:
Bowdon: 492; 471; 464; 1427; 1481
Central: 463; 454; 449; 1366; 1368
Mt. Zion: 478; 463; 451; 1392; 1478
Temple: 459; 446; 449; 1354; 1345
Villa Rica: 471; 460; 450; 1381; 1369