Suffolk SAT results lag behind state, nation

Published 10:42 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Suffolk public school students underperformed on the nationwide SAT college-admissions test in 2012 compared to the state and national averages, data released Monday by the Virginia Department of Education shows.

The total of mean scores for the three parts of the test was 1355 for Suffolk, compared to 1477 in the nation and 1510 in Virginia.

Suffolk’s public school students’ average was a 5-point drop from last year. Nonetheless, the city’s public school students outperformed their counterparts in Franklin, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton.

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They lagged behind those in Isle of Wight County, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Four hundred and ninety-seven Suffolk public school students, or 57 percent of those enrolled in the 12th grade on Sept. 30, 2011, took the SAT in 2012, and the highest portion of those — 196 — were at Nansemond River High School, where scores exceeded those at King’s Fork and Lakeland high schools.

Graduates in Virginia’s public schools outperformed their peers nationwide on the test, including for ethnic subgroups reported by the College Board, according to a department press release.

Slightly more eligible students took the SAT in 2012 than in 2011, the release states; 68 percent of graduates sat the test statewide.

In 2011-2012, Virginia students were tested on “rigorous” new math standards for the first time, and a new English assessment, “based on college and career-ready standards,” will be introduced this school year, the release stated.

“By incorporating more rigorous and challenging standards in all subjects, we are preparing our students with 21st-century skills,” Board of Education President David M. Foster stated in the release.

“The board takes seriously its duty to ensure that students graduating from a Virginia public school are prepared to succeed in college and the workplace.”