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McCormick has improved SAT scores

Some area districts see improved SAT scores

SAT scores were released by the Department of Education for the 2014-15 school year, and the average scores have gone up and down this year for different school districts in the Lakelands.

The scores are the averages of the students' scores in the math, critical reading and writing sections. In each section, students have the possibility of scoring 800 points, so the averages in each school district are out of the total 2400 points.

Greenwood District 50 and McCormick School District both saw increases in their average SAT scores, with District 50's average jumping 40 points from 2014 and McCormick's average jumping 84 points.

McCormick Superintendent William Wright credits his district's gains on increased focus on college and college classes.

"We have an increased emphasis on preparing children to go to college," Wright said. "Part of that is because of the dual enrollment program we have with Piedmont Tech, in which kids are taking college-level courses while they're completing high school; so I think that helps, quite honestly."

In District 50, the two high schools both saw positive changes overall, although Greenwood High School had the biggest positive change. Emerald High School's average went up eight points from 1367 to 1375 this year, while Greenwood High School's average went up 55 points from 1392 to 1447 this year.

For other counties in the Lakelands, average scored dropped. Abbeville School District's scores dropped 23 points, Greenwood District 51 dropped 64 points and Greenwood District 52 dropped 60 points.

Ware Shoals Superintendent Fay Sprouse said the district was disappointed in the drop after having a huge score gain the year before, and said many schools saw drops this year in their average scores.

"A lot of schools experienced a drop last year," Sprouse said. "I don't quite know what it was -- it was like 103 out of 120 schools dropped -- so half the districts dropped."

She said districts often have valleys and peaks when it comes to their SAT scores each year.

"You have a different group of kids each year, and each child brings to the table a different level of preparation," Sprouse said. "The coursework that students do prior to taking the SAT is very important."

For Abbeville School District, just one of its high schools saw a drop. Abbeville High School's scores increased 39 points to 1449. However, Dixie High School had the highest average drop in the Lakelands at 84 points, with a 1375 average for 2015.

Greenwood District 52's 60-point drop put Ninety Six High School's average score at 1348, down from 1408 in 2014.

Interim Superintendent Sharon Wall said the district's drop was partly due to the high number of students taking the SAT this year.

"Are we proud of that? No," Wall said of the drop in scores. "But you're going to have that when you don't limit it and let anybody take it. A large percentage of our students take it, whether they're ready to take it or not."

Wall said even though they have SAT preparation at their high school, many students will decide to take it without being ready for it.

Ninety Six High School had the largest percentage of seniors take the SAT this year at 71 percent. District 50 had the next highest number at 61 percent, Abbeville School District had 46 percent, Ware Shoals had 42 percent and McCormick had 38 percent.

SAT Score Averages: ...........2014.............2015

South Carolina.......................1443.............1442

United States.........................1497.............1490

LAKELAND DISTRICTS........2014............2015

Greenwood District 50...........1381.............1421

Greenwood District 51...........1480.............1416

Greenwood District 52...........1408.............1348

Abbeville School District........1435.............1412

McCormick School District.....1238.............1322

Surrounding Areas:

Edgefield School District......1497..............1493

Laurens District 55...............1370..............1357

Laurens District 56...............1278..............1281

Newberry School District.....1329..............1349

Saluda School District.........1359..............1415

The ACT college admissions exam tests students in English, math, reading and science. Students can opt to take the ACT Plus Writing, which includes a writing section. All scores are out of 36.

ACT Score Averages: .............2014.........2015

South Carolina.........................20.4..........20.4

LAKELAND DISTRICTS.........2014.........2015

Greenwood District 50............20.7..........20.6

Greenwood District 51............19.5...........19.6

Greenwood District 52............19.9...........18.7

Abbeville School District.........21.0...........19.1

McCormick School District.....15.3............17.7

Surrounding Areas:

Edgefield School District........20.5............20.5

Laurens District 55.................19.4............16.8

Laurens District 56.................18.1............18.5

Newberry School District.......18.7.............20.1

Saluda School District...........19.2.............19.1




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