Local SAT scores are second-highest in Florida


Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.

Alachua County public school students averaged the second-highest SAT scores in the state this year.

Coming in behind only Washington County, which had eight students take the test, Alachua County students posted an average total score of 1,594, according to the College Board, which administers the exam.

That average surpasses the state average of 1,460 and the national average of 1,498.

Deputy Superintendent Sandy Hollinger said in a prepared statement that she finds students are better prepared for higher education after challenging themselves in high school.

"Our philosophy is to encourage more students to challenge themselves through advanced courses and college-level exams like the SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement," she said.

In Alachua County, 871 students took the SAT, or about 44 percent of the district's seniors, according to the district. Last year, about 847 took the exam. The exam consists of three sections covering reading, math and writing, with 800 being the highest possible score for each section.

In Alachua County, average scores were 535 in reading, 539 in math and 520 in writing.

Buchholz High School had 307 seniors take the test, or 62 percent — the highest percentage in the county. Melissa Berryman, Buchholz assistant principal for curriculum, said the results reflect the students' preparedness for college.

"Seeing them be successful just opens up opportunities," she said.

At Eastside High School, 186 seniors took the test, or 56 percent, and averaged the highest scores in the county in all three categories.

Principal Jeff Charbonnet said the scores show the quality of the International Baccalaureate program at Eastside, as well as the growth of students from freshman year on.

Last year, district students earned a 1,611 average score, which represented a drop of almost 50 points from the year prior, mirroring a nationwide trend. This year's average score represented a drop of just 17 points from the prior year.

Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or joey.flechas@gvillesun.com.

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