Anne Arundel County SAT Scores Remain Above State Average
Maryland's college-bound seniors exceed the national average in SAT scores.
By Gina Cairney
Capital News Service
WASHINGTON—Maryland's college-bound students managed to maintain high scores in each of the SAT's categories—critical reading, mathematics and writing—bucking a national trend of sinking scores, according to the College Board's College-Bound Seniors 2011 SAT report released Wednesday.
Locally, Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) said its schools continued to exceed state average scores for the 15th consecutive year. The county also noted in a statement an increase in its SAT participation among its Hispanic and black students.
According to an AACPS press release, the average critical reading scores of county students was 499 out of 800, matching the state average and surpassing the national scores of 497—and all-time low. County scores in mathematics were 521 out of 800, surpassing the state average of 502 and national average of 514. In writing, Anne Arundel County students were below the state and national average at 484.
SAT participation grew by 1 percent in Maryland, according to a statement from the Maryland State Department of Education. In 2011, the College Board reported that 47,787 Maryland students took the SAT, up from 46,370 students taking it in 2010.
The Maryland State Department of Education also said in a news release that "the State's long-running partnership with the College Board has helped increase the number of students in urban and rural communities involved in both the Advanced Placement and SAT programs."
Anne Arundel County was one of the two Maryland counties that received their individual scores and saw improvements.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) also did not follow the national trend. The county's 2011 graduates "significantly outscored their peers in the state of Maryland" and the country, a news release said, with an average combined score of 1637 out of 2400, 145 points higher than the state combined score and 137 points higher than the national combined score.
MCPS also saw Hispanic student scores increase, with a combined average score of 1477, compared to the state combined average of 1434. Its black students scored an average of 1382 compared to the state average of 1266.
MCPS Superintendent Joshua P. Starr cautioned against interpretations of race and ethnicity comparisons between the county, state and nation "because results are not available for students identified within the multiple race category in Maryland and the nation."
Prince George's County Public Schools had not received their county data, and would not comment on the scores.
The gains among the counties' Hispanic and African-American students are important, but the College Board's report reveals an even more significant gain among its non-citizen and immigrant students.
Compared with students who are United States citizens, immigrant and non-citizen students in Maryland scored higher in math with an average score of 551 compared with U.S. citizen students' average score of 504 out of 800. Immigrant students also scored on average higher in the writing portion of the SAT at 497, compared to U.S. citizen students' average score of 494.
These scores by immigrant students will be important in their pursuit of a college degree. The Maryland DREAM Act, signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley in May 2011 would provide in-state tuition benefits to non-citizen immigrants who meet certain criteria, but opponents are trying to repeal the act through a referendum in 2012.