SAT Scores Rise for MCPS Class of 2014

October 7, 2014
MCPS graduates outperform the state and the nation

The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Class of 2014 earned a combined average SAT score of 1650, a two-point increase over the previous year and significantly higher than graduates from across the state of Maryland and the nation. The district’s scores were bolstered by significant gains among African American and Hispanic graduates, with scores increasing six points and 10 points, respectively.

SAT participation in MCPS remained high, with 69 percent of graduates taking the college entrance examination, the same percentage as the previous year.

“Overall, our students are performing very well on the SAT and are demonstrating their readiness for success in college and careers. I want to congratulate our students and staff on these outstanding results,” said Phil Kauffman, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “We must continue our work to ensure that all children receive an education that prepares them for success today and in the future.”

The gains in MCPS scores are happening as the state and the nation saw an overall decrease in average SAT scores. In Maryland, the Class of 2014 earned a combined average SAT score of 1468, which is down 15 points from the previous year. Nationally, 2014 graduates scored 1497 on the SAT, a drop of one point. Since 2011, the combined average SAT score of MCPS graduates has increased by 13 points, while scores have declined for graduates statewide (-24 points) and nationwide (-3 points).

“The SAT is an important indicator of a student’s college readiness, and MCPS graduates are clearly outperforming their peers across the state and the nation in this area,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “In order to continue this progress, we must redouble on our efforts to make sure every student in MCPS graduates ready for college and the workplace.”

The SAT college entrance exam includes three sections—critical reading, mathematics, and writing—with each section worth 800 points. The MCPS Class of 2014 earned an average score of 547 on the critical reading section, 560 on the math section, and 542 on the writing section.

African American and Hispanic graduates in the MCPS Class of 2014 made significant gains on the SAT, and outperformed their peers in Maryland and across the nation.

Sixty-three (63) percent of African American MCPS graduates took the SAT—an increase of nearly two percentage points. African American graduates in MCPS scored an average of 1403 on the exam, a one-year increase of six points and significantly higher than their peers in the state (1246) and the nation (1278).

Among 2014 Hispanic graduates in MCPS, 47 percent took the SAT, which is the same as in 2013, and the average score jumped 10 points to 1461. This is significantly higher than the score for the state (1374) and the nation (1353). 

From 2013 to 2014, the gap in performance between MCPS White and African-American students narrowed by eight points while the gap between White and Hispanic students narrowed by 12 points. However, White MCPS graduates students scored 1766 on the SAT, which is still significantly higher than African American and Hispanic students.

“We made some progress in narrowing the achievement gap this year, and that is good news,” Dr. Starr said. “However, we must recognize that the gaps are still too large and we have a lot of work to do in order to ensure all students are prepared to thrive in their future.”

Seven MCPS high schools saw a one-year increase in both SAT participation and combined average score—Albert Einstein, Col. Zadok Magruder, Poolesville, Quince Orchard, Seneca Valley, Springbrook, and Wheaton. Among other highlights of school performance:

- Twelve of the 25 MCPS high schools saw one-year gains in their average combined score, with the largest increases at Springbrook (+88 points), Wheaton (+55 points), Montgomery Blair (+41 points), James Hubert Blake (+37 points), and Poolesville (+34 points).
- The high schools with the highest overall combined average score were Walt Whitman (1900), Poolesville (1891), Winston Churchill (1838), Thomas S. Wootton (1836), and Richard Montgomery (1771).
- Fourteen MCPS high schools saw a one-year increase in scores for African American graduates, with the largest increases at Wheaton (+114 points); Montgomery Blair (+111 points), Col. Zadok Magruder (+63 points), Winston Churchill (+62 points), and Watkins Mill (+59 points).
- Eight high schools saw an increase in both SAT participation and performance for African-American graduates—Gaithersburg, Col. Zadok Magruder, Northwest, Northwood, Poolesville, Seneca Valley, Watkins Mill, and Wheaton.
- Fourteen MCPS high schools had a one-year increase in scores for Hispanic graduates, with the largest increases at Thomas S. Wootton (+155 points), Walter Johnson (+76 points), Paint Branch (+75 points), Wheaton (+64 points), and Springbrook (+64 points).
- Seven high schools saw an increase in both SAT participation and performance for Hispanic graduates—Damascus, Col. Zadok Magruder, Paint Branch, Quince Orchard, Springbrook, Wheaton, and Thomas S. Wootton.
- Two MCPS high schools—Col. Zadok Magruder and Wheaton—had an increase in SAT participation and performance for both African-American and Hispanic students.

MCPS SAT Report and School-level Results

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