|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, August 24, 1995|
Commissioner of Education Robert v. Antonucci Comments on Massachusetts SAT Scores for 1995
Malden - Following is a statement by Commissioner of Education Robert V. Antonucci on the release of the SAT results for 1995:
"There is good news for Massachusetts on two fronts in the report of Massachusetts SAT scores. First, our high school seniors' scores in both verbal and mathematics aptitude have increased over last year. The average verbal score is up four points, to 430, and the average mathematics score is up two points, to 477. In fact, the verbal score is at a six year high and the mathematics score is at a ten year high.
Secondly, there has been a continuing increase in the participation rate of Massachusetts students taking the test. I am very encouraged by this increasing participation. In 1995, 80% of Massachusetts seniors took the examination, placing Massachusetts behind only Connecticut (at 81%) among all the states and almost double the national average of 41%. Our percentage of test takers is up from 72% just five years ago, in 1990, and up from 66% in 1985.
The reason I am very encouraged by this trend is that the SAT is a test measuring student achievement. The fact that more Massachusetts seniors are choosing to take it, or are being encouraged by their parents and teachers to take it, means that expectations are rising for Massachusetts students. The increase in expectations in Massachusetts is exactly what the Education Reform Act demands: higher standards and higher expectations for all students. Parents, students and teachers are seeing it increasingly in the schools: we are asking more of our students, strengthening curriculum, increasing time for academics, increasing expectations for the quality of teaching and learning.
Our high participation rate of course means that an average bell curve of scores is the result, unlike other states in which primarily the top level of students are encouraged to take the test and their scores reflect only the top percentiles of students in their schools."