More than half of Colorado’s high schools recorded lower SAT test scores last spring when compared with the past year, according to data released Thursday.
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SAT scores can range from 200 to 800 each on the literacy and math tests, with a maximum composite score of 1600.
The statewide average composite score this year was 1001, down slightly from 1014. The national average was 973.
Among districts, the Westminster school district is the only one in the Denver metro area that increased its average SAT score for juniors, compared with its juniors who took the test last year.
The state began requiring Colorado juniors to take the SAT test in the spring of 2017. Students in 9th and 10th grades now also take the PSAT. Both tests are meant to measure college readiness, and SAT test scores can be used on applications for most colleges and universities.
Officials hoped that by offering high schoolers a test with more of a link to their college readiness — rather than an unrelated state achievement test — they would be more motivated to take the tests. Participation rates in some districts are still lower than government officials would prefer. In the metro area, for instance, the Englewood school district had just 81.9% of its 11th graders take the SAT.
The state withheld test score data for about a quarter of all high schools because of the small number of students who took the tests there. The practice is meant to protect student privacy, but several advocacy and research organizations have criticized the policy, saying it is too broad and hides important information from the public.
Growth scores, which are calculated based on how much students with comparable test history improve from one year to the next, will not be available until later this month.
Look back at our coverage of scores from the 2018 tests here.