SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - 2018 data revealed three out of four Savannah-Chatham County Public School students who took the ACT or SAT were not ready for college.
According to Executive Director of Secondary School Governance, Bernadette Ball-Oliver, the school district is working hard to improve these scores.
“We always want our students to do better, so yes, we are always concerned regarding the data,” Ball-Oliver said.
Both the ACT and the SAT have benchmarks deeming if a student is ready to go to college. For the ACT, it’s a cumulative score of 22. The SAT standard is a cumulative score of 1010. Although SCCPSS fell below both of those benchmarks, school officials said that doesn’t necessarily mean a student isn’t ready to go to college.
“They look at student transcripts. You look at their progress over time and the honor courses they’ve taken," Ball-Oliver said. "A college looks at multiple pieces of data most times in terms of college entry. The test scores are only one piece.”
More justifications for these lower test scores include the most recent student’s score being accounted instead of the student’s highest score. The school district also invites all students, even middle schoolers, to take the test. However, none of these justifications are accounted for in the data.
“We want to continue working on refining how we receive the data and report the data, but again, remember they’re getting that from SAT and ACT," Ball-Oliver said. "[That data] comes to us as they provide it.”
Despite the district dropping two percentage points in the SAT and five percentage points in the ACT for 2018, and falling behind the national and state average by 20 or so points, SCCPSS said they are showing an impressive more than 70 percent participation rate.
“When you look at us in comparison to our comparative districts, we’re in the average range in terms of performance," Ball-Oliver said. "You have to remember we have a much larger participation rate for the SAT.”
To combat the scores coming in 2019, they don’t have any elaborate plan except to continue offering resources to students to better prepare for the testing.