SAT Scores Reflect NJ Achievement Gap

From NJ Spotlight: “The achievement gap is alive and well in New Jersey's SAT scores, with the mean for black students at 418 in reading, 425 in math and 416 in writing. That's at least 100 points lower that the means for whites and even greater for Asians.”

Across the state math scores went up two points while verbal and writing stayed the same. NJ public schools showed an overall 11-point drop. For a national perspective, here’s the NY Times coverage, which notes that scores were lower this year across the country, with reading scores “the lowest on record.”

Are the low scores due to an overemphasis in the classroom on “teaching to the test” instead of higher-order thinking skills? Or is it the fact that a more diverse group of kids are taking the SAT? In Jersey, for instance, 78% of high school seniors took the SAT, according to the Star-Ledger. Anyway, the jury is still out on that one.