Carrollton High School students once again topped the national average and outpaced the state in SAT performance while also increasing the percentage of students who took the popular college entrance exam, bucking state and national results that showed a decrease in both performance and participation.
Carrollton’s Class of 2020 posted a composite score of 1053, 23 points higher than the national average of 1030 and 10 points higher than the state’s 1043. And despite the coronavirus pandemic that halted SAT testing last spring, CHS increased its participation rate by 4 points to 71 percent, exceeding the state average of 64 percent and well above the national percentage of test takers, which the College Board reported to be down slightly from the previous year.
The SAT scores reported by the state reflect a comparison of public school performances. CHS students, however, also exceeded the national average of 1051 that includes private school participation.
“We are proud of our student performance on the SAT, but we also acknowledge with pride that a large number of our students take this assessment,” said CHS Principal David Brooks. “I give credit to our teachers and counseling department for emphasizing the importance of college readiness and doing whatever it takes to ensure our students are prepared for that next step.”
Historically, schools with a high participation rate many times compromise their mean scores because students of all performance levels take the exam. With this in mind, the College Board, the administering organization for the SAT, further calculates past the overall mean score by percentile ranks to further demonstrate a school’s effectiveness.
For the CHS Class of 2020, the top 25 percent of the class scored an average of 1180, 30 points higher than the previous year. At the 50th percentile, the class posted an average of 1040, 10 points higher than 2019.
“Our philosophy has always been to encourage all students to take the SAT and ACT to ensure they are prepared even if they think they won’t go to college,” said CHS Assistant Principal Susan Gordy. “This fact is demonstrated in our percentile rank data. When you break down the scores by rank, you see our top-performing students are quite competitive with their academically aggressive peers across the nation, while our lower-ranking students are still posting performances well above their state and national peers. This gives them an advantage in being accepted by a post-secondary institution.”
Carrollton City Schools Supt. Dr. Mark Albertus notes the consistently strong performances of CHS students on the SAT and ACT can be attributed to the district’s overarching mission to focus on student outcomes.
“This most recent performance indicator demonstrates the district’s commitment to ensure our students leave CHS college-and-career ready with a high school diploma in hand,” he said. “The Class of 2020 is proof of this continued focus as 74 percent of these graduates are continuing their education at the next level.”