A Look at NC’s 2015 SAT Scores – #NCED

North Carolina’s ACT scores were ‘stagnant‘ and in the area of minority student scores, the ACT scores showed drops.

Now, the SAT scores for NC are out and they resemble results we saw with the ACT. One has to ask, how our state has an 84% graduation rate with scores dropping like they are on these tests.

The ACT is Common Core aligned. So is the SAT when it underwent a ‘redesign‘.

NC’s Superintendent blame-storms:

“In the SAT score drop “you see the impact of lack of resources for certain initiatives,” such as early childhood education services, extra help for struggling students and issues such as teacher retention, said State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson, a Democrat.” – News and Observer


So, Atkinson’s logic here is that a ‘lack of resources’ caused our scores to drop? Who was in charge (both at DPI and the NCGA) back when these 17 and 18-year-old kids would have had ‘early childhood’ services?  Mmhmm.

How does she reconcile that with the previous years scores? North Carolina’s scores have gone up and down over the last four years.

Was it lack of resources when the scores increased in 2013 and 2014? Was it lack of resources in 2012 when the SAT scores decreased?

2012 was the first year Common Core was implemented. Scores dropped but then recovered but not by much.  Now, in 2015, the SAT is ‘Common Core aligned’ and scores are dropping again.

The common denominators are the experimental Common Core standards and a testing industry clearly trying to provide cover.

View the SAT results by state at Washington Post, but bear in mind the number of students who sat for the exam when comparing the average scores.  The related Washington Post article has some other tidbits worth reading as well.

Also worth noting is News and Observer’s Ed Blog calling out WRAL for ‘overstating gains’ on state tests. The highlights of the News and Observer article are spot on:

  • WRAL reported schools made “marked improvement”
  • Report didn’t take account changes in testing system
  • Gains actually were much smaller than reported

A key point made by N&O’s Keung Hui is about how the state’s test grading system was changed:

In 2012-13, the first year of the new Common Core-based exams, passing rates statewide were at 44.7 percent. State education officials said students who passed were “college and career ready.”

Exams that school year were based on a four-tier scale, with students scoring at the third and fourth tiers considered to be at or above their grade level.

Last year, the State Board of Education added a middle level to create a five-tier scale of proficiency. Now, students who score in the third, fourth and fifth tiers are considered passing. But only students on the fourth and fifth tiers are considered “college and career ready.”

Remember what Dr. Atkinson said about our graduation rates in 2012-13:

“North Carolina reached an all-time high school graduation rate of 80.4 percent last year and these districts and schools played a significant role in this remarkable achievement,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson.

She said it was an “all time high”, yet 55.3% were not deemed ‘Career and College Ready’.

Here we are, two years later, and graduation rates are ‘historic’ at 84% yet the scores coming out are stagnant and declining.

How long will this set of magic standards take to kick in? How many kids are we going to lose along the way?

Someone needs to ask the questions…

Related Reading:

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Common Core, EDUCATION, June Atkinson, NC DPI, Testing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.