DATE: September 24, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County High School Seniors Again Outperform Their State & National Peers on College Readiness Scores
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – High School seniors in Albemarle County’s four public high schools once again turned in strong academic performances on the College Board’s SAT tests this past school year.
Scores on the verbal test averaged 603, which is 39 points above the average for all Virginia seniors and 79 points above the average score of all seniors in the nation. On the math portion of the test, Albemarle County seniors reached an average score of 589, exceeding the state average by 33 points and the national average by 66 points.
While average SAT scores in the nation were down slightly compared to a year ago, those scores increased by 17 points in Albemarle County. The combined test scores are used by the College Board to yield a college readiness benchmark, meaning students who meet or exceed the benchmark have a high likelihood for success in credit-bearing college work.
Locally, 89 percent of Albemarle County seniors met the benchmark this year. In Virginia, 54 percent of all students did the same, but only 45 percent of seniors across the nation did so.
“All of our now graduates deserve tremendous credit for the dedication and enthusiasm for learning they brought to their high school careers with us,” said Debra Collins, Deputy Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools.
“We have one strategic goal, and that is to prepare all graduates for lifelong success as learners, workers and citizens. Meeting that commitment begins in our earliest grades. These results confirm what our educators, students and parents know—learning is empowering, especially when it includes hands-on and real-life experiences,” Collins added.
The strong college readiness numbers from county seniors are consistent with similar findings by Niche, the national education assessment organization, which released their 2020 survey results of school divisions across the country earlier this year. Albemarle County’s highest evaluation scores from Niche were for the excellence of its teachers and the quality of its college readiness program.
Looking ahead, Collins said that the latest SAT results confirm the importance of programs to reduce the achievement gap in public schools. Combined SAT test scores for black and Hispanic students in Albemarle County were slightly below the statewide averages, but well ahead of the national average scores.
In Virginia, the combined SAT test score for Black students was 967, compared to a total of 1,120 for all students in the Commonwealth. In Albemarle County, the combined score for Black students was 955; nationally, it was 921. For Hispanic students, the combined score was 1,064 in Virginia; 1,058 in Albemarle County; and 966 across the nation.
“This year, we are emphasizing such programs as culturally responsive teaching, which already is contributing to student academic growth among all demographic groups. An important new focus also will bring principals, teachers, and instructional coaches together on a regular basis to develop specific strategies to address the achievement gap,” she said.
Founded in 1900, the College Board is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit collegeboard.org.