Georgia's SAT scores are 50th in nation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia's SAT scores are 50th in nation

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August 28, 2002

Albany--Georgia High School students are scrapping the bottom of the SAT barrel. The state's average score on the college entrance exam is 980. That's 40 points below the national average and 50th in the nation, above only the District of Columbia. Dougherty County school leaders say they are preparing students for the test and seniors insist the SAT isn't an indication of how well they'll do in college.

17 year old Chloe Washington has her sights set on a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Georgia. She knows good SAT scores are important, but says its not everything. Chloe says, "I don't think it affects how you do in college. Low SAT scores doesn't mean stupid do just as well in college no matter what you get."

But, Chloe isn't taking any chances. She, along with other college prep seniors at Albany High School, meet daily to check out scholarships and financial aid for college, as well as take sample tests of the SAT. Bill Culbreath works with students help get them into their college of choice, and is quick to say that admissions look at more than SAT scores. Counselor Bill Culbreath says, "High School performance in classrooms is really a better predictor of college success than just the SAT score itself."

But, here in Dougherty County, Superintendent Sally Whatley says SAT scores have been traditionally below the state average. Dr. Whatley says, "Honestly from each of the High Schools our SAT scores look like a roller coaster from year to year." But, Dr. Whatley says the students that take the college prep classes and are diligent about their school work fare well on the SAT. 17 year old Cody O'Brien agrees, "I think a lot of classes we have had let us know the algebra, geometry, and English we learn what we need to know its just putting it together." And, these students say their classes are helping them get it together for not just the SAT, but college.

In Georgia, 65 percent of 2002 graduates took the SAT. That's nearly 20 percent more than the national average. Superintendent Whatley says the large number of test takers is one reason for the lower average.

Posted at 5:54 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com