2019 SAT college entry exam scores show general decline among Idaho high school juniors

The average score in 2019 is 496, down from 502
Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 14:12:13-04

BOISE, Ida. — Idaho high school juniors’ 2019 SAT college entry exam scores are in and they highlight a general decline from last year’s scores. Analysis of the results will help the State Department of Education understand the trend and this year’s cohort of test-takers, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.

“The SAT is one measure of college readiness, but focusing on one test score does not tell the whole story for any student,” said Superintendent Ybarra. “We know that results can reflect attitude as well as aptitude and are impacted by a variety of factors. We need to start a conversation about what assessments and measures best reflect how well students are prepared for college or a career based on their chosen post-secondary pathway.”

In Evidence Based Reading and Writing, the state mean (average) score this year is 496, with 56 percent reaching the SAT’s college-readiness benchmark of 480. That’s down from 502 and 57 percent in 2018. The mean score in mathematics is 480, with 33 percent reaching the SAT’s benchmark of 530. That’s down from 486 in 2018, when 33 percent also met the benchmark.

Looking at the combined scores for both mathematics and Evidence Based Reading and Writing:

  • 34 districts and charter schools with at least 20 tested students had total mean scores higher than the total mean score for the state (976)
  • Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy had the highest total mean score (1279) among all districts and charter schools
  • Troy School District had the highest total mean score (1136) among traditional districts.
  • Of all Idaho school districts with 200 or more SAT test-takers, Madison School District had the highest total mean score (1033)
  • Of all Idaho districts with 500 or more SAT test-takers, Boise School District had the highest total mean score (1028), 52 points higher than the mean score for the state. The West Ada School District was the next highest with a total mean score of 1024

The number of 11th graders taking SAT School Day this spring was 19,783, up from 19,178 in 2018. Idaho requires all students to take a college entrance exam to graduate from high school, and most juniors take the SAT because a state contract provides the test at no cost to the student and their results can be forwarded to four colleges for free. SAT results also give schools and districts a tool for monitoring annual progress toward college and career readiness in local Continuous Improvement Plans.

Districts and schools received reports June 24 and students received their individual results in May. Supt. Ybarra has asked her assessment team to do a deeper dive into the data to compare the SAT results for this year’s juniors with their ISAT and PSAT results from their sophomore year.

The assessment team will also be looking at median scores to compare distribution of scores, which could indicate whether student attitude was a factor in the results.