Excellence should never become so routine as to be taken for granted, and in that regard we have to pause to congratulate all of those associated with Forsyth County Schools for the latest SAT scores recorded by local high school students.
According to data released last month, all five of the county’s schools exceeded the state average for the most recent SAT.
Better yet, the systemwide average increased by six points over the previous year, rising to 1568 out of a possible 2400. The state average increased to 1437.
It’s easy to put too much emphasis on standardized testing as a means of accountability for schools. There are so many variables involved in measuring the academic achievement of students that a disservice is done when any one test score becomes the barometer by which success is measured.
That said, such tests do provide a measure of achievement that is more readily acceptable and more easily understood for the general public than might be the case of some more esoteric methodology within the education arena.
The SAT is used nationwide as a benchmark. Improving scores year to year certainly is worthy of note, and surpassing the state average, while not surprising considering the quality of the local school system, is a newsworthy accomplishment. That scores went up even though more students took the test is certainly significant, in that most educational experts agree that the higher the number of students taking the test the more likely averages are go down.
And as local school leaders noted after the results of the test scores, there is still work to be done. School leaders consistently challenge students in the county’s high schools to work at improving academically and use SAT scores as a “carrot on a stick” for motivation with the SAT 2400 Challenge.
Academic success is a group effort. Congratulations to all — students, parents and professional educators.
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Early voting makes it easier to cast a ballot
Once upon a time those who simply couldn’t find the time to vote on Election Day had a ready-made excuse for not bothering to go to the polls.
That’s not the case anymore.
The early voting period for the Nov. 6 general election opened last week, providing ample opportunities to cast a ballot without having to wait for the traditional first Tuesday in November.
In addition, voters who can’t find the time during the week will have a chance to vote on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Election officials expect the early voting period to be busy, as it has become increasingly popular in recent elections. In fact, turnout during the early voting period could be as high as that on Election Day.
You may still decide that none of the candidates nor issues on the ballot interest you enough to make a trip to the voting booth worthwhile — but you can’t use scheduling problems as an excuse any more.