Education news. In context.
Future of Schools
Future of Teaching
In the Classroom
Are Children Learning
Future of Work
How I Teach
The Other 60 Percent
Rise & Shine
Sorting the Students
Who Is In Charge
Week In Review
September 1, 2017
Week in review: What last year’s test scores tell us as a new school year begins
It’s hard to feel hopeful when fewer than half of third-graders are proficient in English but a new school year means a fresh start.
August 17, 2017
Find your 2017 Colorado SAT and PSAT scores
Colorado juniors take the SAT, while sophomores take the PSAT. Both tests are supposed to gauge college readiness.
April 7, 2017
The new-look SAT is here, ushering in more changes to how Colorado tests kids
The shift from the ACT, to the SAT comes as the state continues to refine its testing system amid a public backlash against standardized tests.
April 3, 2017
New York City offers SAT to all high school juniors, hoping to clear a path to college
The test will be offered to any of the city's 70,000 juniors who chooses to participate.
November 18, 2016
For the first time, more than half of New York City’s high school juniors took the SAT
The increase was driven in part by a program that allowed students at some schools to take the test for free during the school day, officials said.
until we meet again
August 11, 2016
Colorado’s ACT score hits peak, but changes to high school test are coming
High school juniors will begin taking the SAT college entrance exam next year.
April 13, 2016
New York considering using scores on AP exams and SAT subject tests in evaluations
The memo cautions that officials are only considering those changes. But expanding the use of SAT and AP scores would be in keeping with a national trend.
wait a minute
January 11, 2016
Colorado will stick with the ACT one more year before SAT switch
State education officials confirmed a one-year delay in switching to the SAT and provided more detail about the decision to eventually move away from the ACT.
test swap uproar
January 7, 2016
Formal protest of Colorado’s switch from the ACT to SAT falters, but another effort launches
The Colorado Association of School Executives is protesting the state's controversial switch from the ACT to SAT for high-school juniors.
December 23, 2015
Goodbye ACT, hello SAT: a significant change for Colorado high schoolers
The College Board prevails over rival testing giant ACT to provide tests for Colorado sophomores and juniors starting this spring.
December 15, 2015
Testing giants vie to provide Colorado high school exams
The last piece of Colorado’s testing puzzle will fall in place by year’s end when officials decide which tests high school sophomores and juniors will take next spring.
October 26, 2015
City to pay for all 11th-graders to take SAT during the school day
The city will cover the cost of the $54.50 exam for students, and let them take it at their own schools during class time.
October 14, 2015
City shows gains in SAT and AP scores
SAT and AP exam scores increased in 2015, showing steady progress toward the city’s college readiness goals at a time when scores are declining nationwide.
September 29, 2015
Should Indiana just use the SAT as its high school test?
New Hampshire's going to do it, so why can't Indiana just have all high school juniors take the SAT instead of a state exam? Well, the Hoosier state probably could, too.
February 11, 2015
Senators back a bill that could end Indiana's testing woes — by dumping ISTEP
If Republicans in the Indiana Senate get their way, Hoosiers will never have to fight about ISTEP again. That’s because Senate Bill 566, which…
October 15, 2014
Beating national trends, city students make modest SAT gains
City students continued to make modest gains on the SAT and Advanced Placement exams last year, and AP exam participation increased as well, the…
March 5, 2014
SAT is getting Common Core-ified under Coleman
The architect of the Common Core standards is reengineering another mainstay of American education — the SAT exam — to reflect the same emphasis…
January 15, 2014
Common Core's fate murkier after Pence's speech
Did Gov. Mike Pence telegraph the end of Common Core standards in Indiana during his state of the state speech? That’s what a couple…
December 3, 2013
Over Bloomberg era, big increases in students taking SAT, APs
Bedford Academy High School principal Adofo Muhammed, left, with Bloomberg and Walcott at Tuesday's SAT and AP scores announcement. More than twice as many students took Advanced Placement exams, and more than 15,000 more high school seniors took the SAT this year than took the exams in 2002, Mayor Bloomberg announced today. New College Board data show that the average SAT score of New York City students increased eight points over last year. But Bloomberg took the long view as he presented the data for the final time, emphasizing the growth over his time in office over the year-to-year numbers that typically get the spotlight. The city did post small, across-the-board gains over last year in every SAT subject, with the biggest gains among Hispanic students, who saw a six-point average gain in writing and a five-point average gain in reading. The city's scores are still far below the national average, and big gaps remain among students. While the average total score for white students was a 1541 out of 2400, the average score for Hispanic students was 1235, and the average score for black students was 1225. But the data also show the number of high school seniors taking the SAT has increased 53 percent from 12 years ago, and the number of students taking AP exams increased to more than 35,000, from about 17,000 12 years ago.
October 28, 2013
Rise & Shine: Donations raise eyebrows in Grand Junction school board race
Some school districts are concerned about voter confusion surrounding Amendment 66 and mill levies, plus one university professor claims the SAT is setting students up to be horrible writers.
September 25, 2012
Gains in city's AP exam pass rate outpaced participation growth
This slide from a Department of Education presentation compares the number of students taking AP exams to the number of students passing them. As more city students took exams meant to earn them college credit and credentials last year, more passed. The finding, contained in College Board data that the Department of Education released today, bucks a common trend in standardized testing: As testing pools grow and become more diverse, average scores are likely to fall. That trend has played out nationally for years on the SAT, which most colleges require for admission: Nationally, SAT scores have inched downward each year as more students have taken the test, this year falling to a four-decade low. In New York City, 2.3 percent more students took the SAT last year than in 2011, but the average score stayed relatively flat. (The total number of students taking the SAT last year comprised 89 percent of the year's senior class, although not all test-takers were seniors.) The local average score fell by two points, compared to four points nationally even as the participation rate rose faster here. And the number of city high school students taking Advanced Placement tests, which show mastery in high-level courses and can confer college credits, jumped by 9.1 percent, according to the data. But the number of students passing the exams rose by even more — 12.7 percent — meaning that students' overall performance improved alongside participation. In total, 56 percent of students who attempted an AP exam last year passed, compared to about 54 percent in each of the previous four years. The AP gains come as the city Department of Education is pushing schools to expand access to college-level coursework to more students. Forty more high schools administered AP exams last year than in 2009, according to the department.
September 16, 2011
City's 2011 AP and SAT scores show little improvement overall
More city students than ever took exams that could earn them college credit last year. But the pass rate held steady at just over 50 percent. The number of city high school students taking rigorous Advanced Placement exams last year jumped by 6.9 percent, according to Department of Education data released today. That follows a push by the DOE to expand access to college-level coursework to more students. The number of students passing the exams also rose by 7 percent, meaning that students' overall performance didn't improve. Black students, who have lagged the most in both participation and performance on AP exams, did post higher scores, with 12.7 percent more passing tests than last year. The DOE also released information about how New York City students did last year on the SAT. Nationally, performance dropped as the number of test-takers rose. But here in New York, 10 percent more high school seniors took the SAT, but students' scores overall held flat or dropped by one point on the test's three different sections. Still, city students' average SAT score is well below the national average. This year, NYC students scored an average total score of 1,327, while the national average is 1,483. Both SAT and AP exam participation and performance will be factored into the college-readiness metric that the DOE will premiere on high schools' forthcoming progress reports.
September 14, 2010
After years of SAT score declines, city students break the trend
SAT scores of city public school students rose slightly over last year's scores, bringing a four-year trend of declining performance to an end, according to data released by the Department of Education today. The average city SAT score was five points higher on the reading portion of the test, four points higher on the math, and two points higher for writing. The gains are statistically significant, but not yet great enough to cancel out several years of loses. Today, the city's average scores to roughly where they were two years ago. City students' average score was 439 out of 800 on the reading section, 462 on math, and 434 on writing. The score increases are mainly due to improved results from Asian, white, and Hispanic students. Black students' scores stagnated, except in the case of the writing SAT, where they fell by three points.
August 26, 2009
SAT-taker trends clash with overall population changes
More black and Hispanic students are taking the SAT, but is that just because of overall demographic shifts? A reader asks for overall enrollment trends by race. The data show that the numbers of black and Hispanic students in the city is not rising. The black population has been declining while the Hispanic population is also declining, though less rapidly. The number of Asian students in city schools is rising. This is according to both city figures on public school enrollment and Census estimates on the size of the school-aged population.* I spent several months last year exploring the public school enrollment data, which contains all kinds of mysteries (one: white enrollment in public schools has declined while the white school-aged population, by Census estimates, which are imperfect, is rising). Alas I only completed my digging just as the New York Sun was closing, and it's never seen the light of day — until now! Here's a chart I put together last year, using city data, followed by a chart using the Census's school-aged population estimates:
August 25, 2009
The changing demographics of the city's college-prep class
Data courtesy of the city Department of Education. As promised, here's some more detail on who takes the SAT in the city — broken down by race and painted as a picture over time. The number of black students taking the SAT is now at 10,438, up from 6,763 in 2002. The increase among Hispanic students is even more pronounced: From 5,400 in 2002 to 11,414 in 2009. Scores for both groups in 2009 were stuck in the low 400's on each subject matter. That would make about an 825 out of 1600 on the old scale, which included just math and reading and no writing. Also, curiously, the number of white students taking the SAT dropped in the city this year (though it's still above the 2002 number) as in America. On the 1600 math-and-reading scale, white students this year scored 1,031 on average. And everyone seems to score about the same on the new writing test as on the math and reading test. But, like we keep (unconvincingly?) saying, we're on blog-vacation! So please help us out by pointing out the trends you see in the comments. (And check out Caroline's point about not putting too much stock in changes in the overall averages.)
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!