By: Drew Marshall
Local high schools have experienced some different changes in the past year, some good and some bad. The education department has especially seen a change, as several local schools have undergone changes in SAT scores and state report card ratings. Schools such as Clover andRock HillHigh Schoolsreceived state report card ratings significantly higher than last year.Rock Hill, especially, went from an “average” rating to an “excellent.” At the same time, however, local schools received a drop in SAT scores from last year, while the state’s average dropped seven points in total.
The drop in SAT scores have affected all but four area schools. Nation Ford,Rock Hill,Great FallsandIndianLandposted scores higher than 2009’s Senior class.FortMillHigh School’s average score dropped a whopping 35 points from the 2009 class to the 2010 class. However, the school still ranks as one of the highest performers in the state. The school leaders inYorkCountyclaim that they are encouraging everyone to take the SAT, while in other years only a select, college-bound group of students took it. This could potentially have led to the drop in scores.
On the other hand, local schools received higher state education report card ratings than usual. Along withRock HillHigh School,CloverHigh Schoolalso vaulted from a “unsatisfactory” rating to an “excellent”. Finley Road Elementary went from “unsatisfactory” to “good”. This change in grades makes many educators very proud of their faculty and students. “When we were on the low end, we felt like eyes were on us,” Judy Mobley, Rock Hill High’s principal, said. “This year we feel we’ve made a tremendous improvement.” This dramatic turnaround puts a bright spot on the area, while other schools have felt a decrease in SAT scores.
The opposite affect of grades and SAT scores shows that they are not the same thing. A student can achieve success at the school level that may not translate to standardized testing. This apparent difference should show educators that SAT scores are not as important as overall grades. As shown, some schools can improve in their report card rating, and the school could still see a drop in SAT scores. This local change shows that SAT scores can sometimes not reflect the student’s actual ability and that the scores may not be an accurate portrayal of a student’s academic career.