Low Delaware SAT Averages Paint Misleading Picture - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Low Delaware SAT Averages Paint Misleading Picture

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DELAWARE - Last Saturday, hundreds of students in Delaware sat down to take the dreaded SAT exam. And historically, the first state has done very poorly in this examination, ranking in last place across the nation. However this number can be misleading because the state also has a unique characteristic; They are the only state in the nation that mandates that every single junior in high school takes the test. 

This policy was initiated two years ago in Delaware, and has resulted in a drastically lower score average. In Delaware, the combined score average was a 1351, giving the state the lowest average of any. But students, teachers, and administrators all agree that this ranking is misleading due to the high participation. Samuel Izzo is a senior at Indian River High School, and said his experience taking the test demonstrated this well. 

"There are kids who know they aren't going to college," he said. "And they don't understand why the test is being forced on to them... So I went in and I was sitting next to a kid who was sleeping the whole time." 

And these low effort testers have brought the average down according to administrators like Susan Bunting, the Superintendent for the Indian River School District. And this trend can be seen across the country. The next three lowest average scores belong to the students in Idaho, Maine, and the District of Colombia. All three of these regions have participation rates over 90 percent. On the other hand of the spectrum, the state with the top score average belongs to Illinois, who has a participation rate of just 5 percent. 

Despite this obvious discrepancy, Bunting said there is still room to improve on the scores even more. 

"We do have concern about our SAT scores," she said referring to those bring the average down. "We would like all of our students to be reaching the 1550 benchmark."

Ridge Murray is also a student at Indian River High School. He said it is frustrating to see the low ranking, and said a better measurement would be to look at the scores of students who have aspirations to attend college only. 

"For the kids who don't want to go to college," he said. "There's no need for them to take the SATS. Because for one thing, they clearly don't want to take it so they're not gonna try. And with their scores so low, it's going to bring the averages down."

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