CHS students scored an average composite score of 1,417, down 33 points from the 1,450 score in 2011. The highest possible score a student can achieve on the test is 2,400 points.
“Of course we’re always hoping for improvement, but this year, we took a dip,” CHS Principal Dr. Mark Albertus said. “We had a great senior class last year that had a wonderful academic career in the school system.”
Albertus said he is proud of the number of test-takers the school had, with 213 students choosing to take the test.
“We’re just glad we’ve got students taking this test and the ACT more and more,” Albertus said. “Because that gives them options for things to do in the post-secondary level. So I’m not going to apologize for or hide from these scores.”
Albertus said “close to 75 percent” of the school’s population took the test.
“That’s a good, large percentage that we’re happy with and that have more options now that they’ve graduated,” he said.
The students’ scores decreased in each of the three subject areas tested by the SAT: critical reading, math and writing. The seniors fell 13 points in critical reading, 14 points in math and six points in writing, for a combined 33-point decrease.
Albertus cited the growing trend of ACT participants as a reason for the decreased results.
“We’ve got schools in different parts of the country that just want to take one,” he said. “But our students can take either one, and a lot of them take both. So the results can be a little off.”
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.
The principal said the school will continue to raise levels of student achievement despite the lower scores.
“We keep pushing expectations higher and adding rigor to our courses,” he said. “We have challenging AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) courses that challenge students and get them ready for college-level classes.”
Full scores in each of the three SAT subjects for CHS in 2012, as well as the year’s cumulative average score:
Critical reading: 475
Average scores for the 2011 CHS seniors:
Critical reading: 488