New Jersey SAT Scores Lower Than National Average
Highest cost per public school student in the nation, SAT scores lower than the national average.
Seniors who finished high school last spring scored 520 out of a possible 800 on the math section, 2 points higher than the class of 2004. Average scores on the verbal section were unchanged at 508, according to results released Tuesday by the College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the SAT.
New Jersey's graduates followed the same trend, though their scores were a bit lower than the national average. Seniors in the Garden State scored an average of 503 on the verbal section and 517 on math — both up from last year. In New Jersey, 86 percent of students take the SAT — a rate that trails only New York.
Let the excuses begin.
An overview of the 2005 SAT results from the College Board may be read here and the organization’s detailed New Jersey State Profile Report may be read here.
The excuses for New Jersey’s slightly below national average results on the SATs are coming in and the favorites are - more NJ students take the test than in other states and only the top students take the SATs in other states. No mention that New Jersey spends 35 percent more per student than the national average.
However, we would like to point out college-bound students took the SATs in all states and not just the top college-bound students. We haven’t found any evidence to suggest that non-college-bound students in New Jersey are taking the SATs.
This past year more students across the nation took the test than in previous years and yet the national average increased slightly. Over the past decade, the number of SAT takers increased by 408,000 students, or +38 percent—more than twice the growth rate for graduating seniors in the United States. During that period math scores have increased 14 points and verbal scores have increased 4 points. Based upon the more test takers equals lower scores theory, shouldn’t the nation’s average SAT scores have declined?
No doubt New Jersey’s top students are among the best and brightest in the country and have SAT scores reflecting their academic achievement. However, if we just confine our analysis to New Jersey’s SAT takers – apples to apples – we see no increase in SAT scores, while we see New Jersey’s average cost per student has increased by 33 percent over the past ten years.
It really doesn’t matter if you compare New Jersey’s student achievement to the nation as a whole or just within New Jersey - education spending is soaring, but results in the Garden State are not.