SAT scores keep dropping, according to a report released by the College Board, as reported by guest blogger Caralee J. Adams on the “High School and Beyond” blog produced by Education Week’s website. Achievement in all three subjects–Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing–have fallen as well; also, the average score reached the lowest level in the decade since the 2400 composite-score system was introduced. The critical point, as highlighted by the College Board chief of assessment, Cyndie Schmeiser, is that the level of college readiness has remained stagnant. Another pertinent point Schmeiser stated was that the College Board had already noticed the downward trend in scores, and thus in college preparation, and used the data to overhaul the SAT.
The new SAT will roll out in the spring of 2016; and the College Board, in an effort to provide more practice tests and support services for underprivileged students who are taking the test in greater numbers, will provide additional online coaching through a partnership with the Khan Academy. Additional good news for students that Adams mentioned was also that more students are taking college-level tests like the SAT and the ACT, and that this means that more traditionally underserved students are accessing college admission requirements. However, even though more students are taking the tests, scores are either dropping (SAT), or remaining flat (ACT). These facts, when examined together, mean the focus by the College Board and ACT has been on the information on college readiness the tests provide, rather than the overall score performance. Since more diverse students and first-generation college students are taking the tests, the ACT and College Board have taken seriously the challenge to ensure that the tests are fair and accurate for all students–not just the ones who come from a college-going tradition.