Baltimore and Prince George’s counties decided this past year to cover their students’ SAT fees to encourage all high school juniors to take the college admissions test. In Baltimore County, where the test was given on a school day to further accommodate students, the number of test takers went up by 58 percent. Scores dropped accordingly, falling by 50 points in each of the three sections. (Critical reading, math, and writing sections are each scored on a scale of 200 to 800, combining for a highest possible score of 2400.)
According to the Sun, the county expected exactly that outcome. The chief accountability officer for Baltimore County Public Schools believes that giving every student the opportunity to take the SAT “communicates to the students an expectation of college and career readiness.”
Across the state scores dropped by 5 points in each section, falling below the national averages. Baltimore City declined to release any test data.
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