SAT scores encouraging

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2003

What do high school students, SATS, Mars, and NASA have in common?

According to results of a study released Tuesday by the College Board, high schoolers in Virginia and elsewhere in the country have made notable improvement in their SAT exams.

According to the Board, the average score of Virginia seniors on the verbal portion was 514, seven points better than the national average. However, Virginia students’ average score of 510 on the math portion was nine points below the national average. The national averages of 507 on the verbal section and 519 in math were both up three points from the previous year.

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While it’s pleasing to see the improvement, we hope that in Virginia schools, a greater emphasis will be placed on the mathematics, and not merely for the sake of reporting a higher SAT score next year.

Math, whether you like it or not, is vital to one’s existence. Not only do you need to learn how to count, but to understand its direct relationship with money, how it’s earned and lost. Then there’s the matter of measuring objects – lumber for a house, furniture to fit through a door. Don’t forget that without math, engineers could not create bridges, roads, buildings, and rockets.

Which leads to the next subject. Though NASA is undergoing intense scrutiny about its operations, it will survive. What can help in the recovery and any future expansion will students who know math and can apply it to space exploration. Case in point: The study of Mars and its closest proximity to earth would have gone unappreciated were it not for people who know how to apply math to the situation.

The students who know math today will be the ones who can truly reach for the stars tomorrow.