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California Department of Education News Release (with no CDE logo)
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #12-87
September 24, 2012
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

Latinos Now Account for Largest Share of SAT® Scores
in California, State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Notes

SACRAMENTO—SAT® results released today by The College Board show that for the first time, Latino students in California public* schools represented a larger percentage of SAT test-takers than any other ethnic group.

Reflecting the state's growing diversity, nearly 70 percent of California's public school test-takers in the Class of 2012 were minority students, and of those, 36 percent—or 69,832 students—were Latino. This compares to 29 percent—or 56,590 test-takers—who were white; 22 percent—or 42,121 test-takers—who were Asian; and 7 percent—or 13,101 test-takers—who were African American.

"It's wonderful to see the diversity of California reflected among our highest-achieving students and those who have their sights set on a college education," Torlakson said.

Nearly half of public school SAT takers in California reported that English was not exclusively their first language and that their parents' highest level of education was a high school diploma or less.

Some 194,425 California public school students—or 50 percent—of seniors in this year's class took the test at some point during their high school careers, which is a 2 percentage-point gain from last year and an 8 percentage-point gain over 10 years, The College Board data showed.

Nationally, 1,664,479 members of the class of 2012 (of which 1,284,459 attended public schools) took the SAT, considered a precursor to college admission. Statewide, a total of 231,964 students attending either public or private California high schools took the test.

Among California public school students in 2012 compared to last year, the mean writing score decreased 3 points to 491; the mean critical reading scores dropped 3 points to 491, and the mean math score dropped 3 points to 510.

The increase in the participation rate may have resulted in the decline of the mean scores, The College Board said.

Students from the California class of 2012 who took the SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests™ sent score reports to a total of 2,823 institutions, and 58 percent of students indicated they planned to attain a bachelor's or a master's degree, while 23 percent would like to attain a doctoral degree.

More information is available on The College Board and the SAT [] External link opens in new window or tab. Web site

SAT results at the county, district, and school levels are not a part of today's national release but will be available later this year on the CDE Postsecondary Preparation Web page.

* Please note that nearly all of the statistics used in this CDE News Release are taken from California public school results only.

# # # #

Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, May 15, 2020
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