Polk High SAT scores stay above state, U.S. averages

Published 10:13 am Friday, August 29, 2008

Polk is down only slightly from the 2006-2007 school year when it had a total average of 1,532, and it remains well above the 2005-2006 school year average of 1,491. In the 2007-2008 school year, Polk students averaged 523 on math, 513 on critical reading and 492 on writing. The U.S. averages were 515 for math, 502 for reading and 494 for writing, while the state averages were 511 for math, 496 for reading and 482 for writing.We would like to be above the national average on writing. Our teachers are aware of the scores and our analyzing what we can do to improve them,&dquo; said Polk County Schools Supt. Bill Miller. &dquo;But in general it continues to be good to see that we&squo;re above the national and state averages overall and we continue to have a good number of kids take the test.&dquo;

The 2005-2006 school year was the first time that the test included a writing section. Polk had only 57 students or about 42 percent of the class that year take the SAT test.

In each of the past two years, the school has had 85 students take the college-entrance exam. Polk County&squo;s participation rate was about 52.5 percent in the 2007-2008 school year, meaning more than half the class took the test.&bsp; By comparison the participation rate across the country was 45 percent, and the state average was 63 percent.

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Supt. Miller says another 15 to 20 Polk County students choose to take the ACT college entrance exam each year, and other students who are bound for community college choose to forgo the entrance exams.

Miller says the high school continues to encourage all students who are interested in pursuing further education to take the entrance exams. The school also helps students achieve the best scores possible by providing guidance on test-taking strategy, and addressing potential gaps between the school&squo;s curriculum and the test&squo;s content.