State school superintendent says both provide a measure of their progress.
Baltimore, Md (KM). The class of 2017 did very well on the SAT and ACT’s last year, according to the Maryland State Department of Education. “Maryland students scored above the national average on the SAT, and they’re scoring well above the national average on the ACT,” says spokesman Bill Reinhard.
MSDE says students in Maryland set a new baseline in reading and English language arts, and mathematics, as the College Board made a major revision to the SAT. The mean score for public school students in the state was 528 compared to the national mean of 527. In mathematics, it was 518 mean score for Maryland students. The national mean was 517. Maryland’s mean composite was 1046; the national mean composite was 1044. 36,459 Maryland public school students to the SAT last year.
As for the ACT, the composite score for Maryland public schools was 22.8 between 2015-16,. and 23.4 in 2016-17. The national composite score improved from 20.8 to 21.0. 12,664 students in Maryland took the ACT during the 2016-17 academic year.
Reinhard says these scores show that students in Maryland take their education seriously, and are looking to life beyond high school. “The SAT is part of that. It’s a tool to help students know where they stand, and what they might need to look at prior to college,” he says.
But he says these tests are useful to those who are not planning to go to college after graduating from high school. “Students that are interested maybe in post secondary education, maybe going directly into a career take the SAT to just to give themselves a little bit more knowledge about where they stand,” he says.
Reinhard says educators need to work more to try and bring up the scores of minority students on the SAT. “Our Hispanic students and our African-American students aren’t scoring quite as well as our Caucasian students and our Asian students,” he says. “But if we look at the ACT scores, we know those students are improving.”
MSDE says the SAT scores for Caucasian students in Maryland was 1134; for Asian-Americans, it was 1164; African-Americans scored 937; Hispanic students scored 1013; and students of two or more races scored 1101. On the ACT, Caucasian students scored 25.4; Asian-Americans scored 26.9; African-Americans scored 18.8; Hispanic students scored 21.7; and students of two or more races scored 23.4.
By Kevin McManus