W-JCC and York outpace state, region in SAT

mcanty@dailypress.com, pdujardin@dailypress.com

Students from Williamsburg-James City County, Poquoson and York County outpaced both the state and national averages on SAT test, the newly released numbers show.

This year’s results show an improvement at the district’s three high schools – Jamestown, Warhill and Lafeyette - in critical reading, and an significant improvement in the writing tests at Jamestown and Lafayette, according to numbers released Thursday by the Virginia Department of Education.

On average, students at Jamestown and Lafayette did better in writing, rising 9 and 12 points, respectively.

Scores in Math Jamestown and Lafayette  are lower than last year, but Warhill High School showed a four-point increase, district officials said in a news release.

The average SAT score for Williamsburg-James City County Schools was 1,578, according to the division’s website. York's average SAT score was even with last year's numbers at 1,563, though 28 points below the average tallied in 2013. Poquoson’s average SAT score came to 1,550.

Williamsburg-James City Schools’ district offices are closed Friday, so officials weren’t available to comment on the scores.

The average SAT score in Virginia this year was 1,523, out of a maximum possible score of 2,400. That was 61 points higher than the national average of 1,462, with Virginia students performing better than their counterparts around the country on all three sections of the SAT.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, designed to measure a student's fitness for college work, is used by many colleges and universities for admissions and is often seen as a crucial yardstick for how well students might fare at the university level.

Virginia numbers rose slightly in two categories — math up 2 points, and writing up 1 point — and held the same score as last year in critical reading, the Education Department said.

Those modest increases came against the backdrop of a dip in the national SAT numbers in all three categories this year. The Education Department said the rising test scores in Virginia are bucking the national trend of declining scores.

While the national average SAT score for public school students is 1,462, the College Board pinpoints a “college readiness benchmark” score of 1,550. That number, the board said, indicates a “65 percent likelihood” of achieving grades of “B-minus” or better in the first year of college.

On average, figures from Williamsburg, Poquoson, James City and York counties show its test-takers met this benchmark.

The Virginia Department of Education said 45 percent of students in Virginia met that mark.

For more information on Williamsburg-James City County SAT scores, click here

Pete Dujardin contributed to this report.

Reach Canty at (757) 345-2341.

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