Class of 2008 SAT scores: Press release, data sets, and analysis

Christina Hentges

College Board
August 2008

The 2008 SAT data are out: average scores in reading, math, and writing went neither up nor down since last year. The College Board applauds this consistency, though, because larger numbers of minority and first-generation students took the SAT in 2008 than in 2007. Because more such students were taking the test, some say, one might have expected the scores to decline; that they didn't, smirked the College Board, is reason to celebrate. (ACT recently made a similar point about its own test.) Problem is, the actual scores of minority test-takers are not reason to celebrate. The 2008 results of both black and Hispanic students, in math, reading, and writing, were down from last year. The scores of white students, by contrast, were up. So we have a widening racial achievement gap in SAT scores. It's also clear that woefully few high school seniors are actually ready for college-level academic work. This report offers lots of other data, too, including score breakdowns by gender, family income, English language skills, and high school GPAs. The College Board also provides state reports, but in only 21 states plus the District of Columbia do 50 percent or more of the kids take this test. You can find it all here.

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