Cherokee County School District’s average SAT scores from this year are slightly lower than last year’s, though the district has still performed above the state and national SAT averages.

CCSD’s average total score for the Class of 2019 was 1,115, beating the national public school average by 76 points and the state figure by 67 points, higher margins than last year. The average score for the district last year was 1,122. SAT scores were released by the College Board on Tuesday.

A slight dip in scores was reported across the state’s public schools, consistent with lower scores nationally. According to College Board, the national average SAT score for the class of 2019 is 1,059, slightly down from 1,068 for the class of 2018.

“Our mission is educating our emerging generation, and part of that preparation for future success is ensuring academic excellence,” Cherokee County Schools Superintendent Brian Hightower said in a statement. “These results show dedication and diligence on the part of our students and teachers and the families and partners that support them. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!”

The SAT measures critical reading and mathematics abilities related to successful performance in college. It includes two 800-point sections: Evidence Based Reading and Writing (ERW) and Mathematics, with a possible total score of 1,600; a third section, a writing exam, is optional. The CCSD average ERW score is 566, and the Math is 549.

The scores for CCSD’s high schools are: Cherokee, 1,093 (557 ERW, 536 Math); Creekview, 1,127 (569 ERW, 559 Math); Etowah, 1,128 – the highest average in CCSD (573 ERW, 555 Math); River Ridge, 1,108 (566 ERW, 541 Math); Sequoyah, 1,116 (571 ERW, 545 Math); and Woodstock, 1,116 (562 ERW, 553 Math).

The highest scoring schools, Creekview and Etowah, held steady with the same combined ERW and Math averages as last year. Sequoyah’s score bumped up by five points. Cherokee’s average dropped 22 points from last year’s 1,115. River Ridge’s score dropped by seven points. Woodstock’s score is 18 points lower than last year’s.

According to the College Board, SAT mean scores are the average of a defined set of test scores. Mean score statistics are reported when there are 10 or more students in a group or subgroup. Due to rounding, the mean section scores (ERW and Math) may not add up to the total score.

The data shows a continued rise in numbers of students who take the test. In CCSD, 1,736 took the SAT this year, 71 more than last year. According to the Georgia Department of Education, the state’s SAT participation rose to 67% of public-school graduates in the class of 2019, up from 66% in 2018 and 59% in 2017.

The College Board reported 40% of students in Georgia public schools met benchmarks for both the ERW and Math sections of the test, 70% in ERW and 42% in Math. The benchmarks are associated with students having a 75% chance of getting a C or higher in a first semester, credit-bearing college level course in, for math: algebra, statistics, precalculus or calculus, or for ERW: history, literature, social science or writing. Last year, the percentage was 42, 73% meeting ERW benchmark and 43% meeting the Math benchmark.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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