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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #11-68
September 14, 2011
Contact: Pam Slater
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Comments on 2010-11 SAT® Scores

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today commented on the results of the SAT® for the California high school class of 2011 that were part of this morning's national release by test administrator, The College Board.

"I am pleased that more than half of California seniors took the SAT in 2010 and that the participation of minority students set a new record for our state," Torlakson said. "College has increasingly become the price of admission to the job market, so it is encouraging that more students than ever see college in their futures."

According to the College Board, 222,658 students—or 53 percent—of California seniors in this year's class took the test at some point during their high school careers, which is a 4 percent increase over 2010 and a 13 percent increase since 2007. Of those, 184,890 were public school SAT takers, representing 48 percent of the state's public high school graduates.

Minority students accounted for 65 percent of California's SAT takers in the class of 2011, making it the most diverse class in state history. Minority students composed 64 percent of test-takers in 2010 and 58 percent in 2007.

Among California public school students in 2011 compared to last year, writing scores decreased 5 points to 494; critical reading scores dropped 6 points to 494, and math scores dropped 6 points to 513.

An increase in the participation rate may result in a drop in the mean score.

When looking beyond year-to-year comparisons at longer-term trends, critical reading and mathematics scores among all California SAT takers are unchanged and writing scores increased by 1 point since 2007. Public school mean scores showed improvement since 2007, with critical reading up 2 points, mathematics up 1 point and writing scores up 3 points since 2007.

"While more students are becoming serious about higher education, we still need to ensure they are prepared to succeed once they get to college," Torlakson said.

Among the California SAT takers who answered optional questions about their college plans, 27 percent of students indicated plans to attain a bachelor's degree, 54 percent indicated plans to attain a more advanced (master's or doctoral) degree, and 76 percent indicated that they planned to apply for financial aid.

Students from the California class of 2011 who took the SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests™ sent score reports to a total of 2,811 institutions.

For more information on the College Board and the SAT®, please visit SAT - College Board - The Most Widely Used College Admission Exam [http://sat.collegeboard.org/home?affiliateId=nav&bannerId=h-satb] External link opens in new window or tab..

Downloadable data files on how specific California school districts performed on the SAT® and the ACT® will be available later this year at Postsecondary Preparation.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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