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SAT results increase, Forsyth County outperforms state

FORSYTH COUNTY -- Results for last spring’s SAT tests taken by Forsyth County seniors have been released, along with those across Georgia, and they show, once again, local public school students are among the top-performing in the state.

More than 2,000 Forsyth County Schools students took the college entrance exam in 2016 and earned both the highest average score in metro-Atlanta and the top score in Georgia for districts that tested more than 340 students, according to the district.

“We are pleased to see increases in our SAT results,” Superintendent Jeff Bearden said. “Ensuring that our students are college and career ready continues to be a goal of our teachers and school staff. They do a fantastic job preparing our students, and our students are hard-working and dedicated to academic excellence.”

The 2016 district average of 1584 is eight points higher than in 2015 and 19 points higher than in 2014.

All traditional high schools earned scores higher than the state and national average of 1459 and 1484, respectively.

“South Forsyth High School, the county’s largest school, had the largest increase from 2015 and led our schools with the highest score,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system.

South’s score of 1645 was followed by Lambert High’s 1627 and West Forsyth High’s 1543.

Forsyth Virtual Academy’s six test takers earned an average of 1540, while North Forsyth High’s average was 1525.

Statewide, 69,922 students took the SAT in 2016, which featured a redesign and different scoring system that students had the option of taking.

Georgia students increased their scores on every section of the traditional SAT and outperformed the national average on the new test.

The new test scores students in evidence-based reading and writing, or ERW, and math, as opposed to the traditional three sections of critical reading, math and writing.

“This is just one measure of achievement, but it’s a signal that more students are prepared for the future, and that’s something to celebrate,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As we continue to realign our focus and pursue policies that prepare children to learn, live and lead in the future, I believe we’ll see continued increases in SAT scores and other indicators.”

The College Board redesigned the SAT to make it more “straightforward and connected to classroom learning. Some of the changes reflected in the new SAT include removing the guessing penalty, focusing on words students will use in college and careers and making the essay optional.”

“More test-takers completed the new SAT from March through June of this year than took the old SAT during the same period in 2015,” according to The College Board, which administers the exam.

This year’s new SAT cannot be compared to that of previous years because they each have different assessment rubrics and scales.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, The College Board did not report school or district results to the state for the new SAT “due to the number of students who participated.”