DCSD students exceed national SAT average

Darlington County School District’s (DCSD) class of 2015 scored higher on the SAT than the national average. The district also posted the highest SAT average in the Pee Dee, earning the 11th best average in the state.

DCSD students scored well not only on the SAT, but also on the ACT, Advanced Placement exams and ACT WorkKeys.

The class of 2015 scored an average of 1476 on the SAT, a 63-point increase from 2014, according to data released recently by the S.C. Department of Education. That exceeded the national public school average of 1462 and the state public school average of 1428. DCSD averaged higher scores than the state and national averages in all three SAT subjects – critical reading, math and writing.

“It’s always good to see growth,” DCSD Superintendent Eddie Ingram said. “It is particularly gratifying to see our scores surpass national averages on the SAT, a milestone on our way to becoming a world-class school district.”

The SAT scoring benchmark was 11th highest out of the 82 public school districts in South Carolina, and accolades continue the closer the district’s SAT success is examined.
DCSD was the only public school district in the Pee Dee with at least two high schools to see increases in SAT scores at all of its high schools.

Lamar High School saw a 20-point increase from 2014, and Hartsville High School had a 65-point increase. Darlington High School’s 142-point increase from 2014 was the third largest increase in South Carolina. Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology’s average score of 1523 was the highest of all 22 public high schools in the Pee Dee and a 30-point increase over 2014.

The score was the highest DCSD produced since 2011, when the test’s creator, The College Board, made changes to scoring parameters.

DCSD students enrolled in magnet programs at Hartsville High and Darlington High scored well above the national SAT average. Students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme at Hartsville High averaged a score of 1651, besting the national average by 189 points. Darlington High students in the Early College Honors Program scored an average of 1614, which was 152 points higher than the national average.

Graduating seniors scored an 18.5 average composite score on the ACT, an increase from 17.9 in 2014. The state average was 20.2. The increase over 2014 continued a five-year trend in DCSD of increasing the average ACT score of graduating seniors.

All high school juniors across the state took the ACT WorkKeys test last year for the first time. The test assesses a student’s readiness to enter the workforce following graduation. Students test in three areas: applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information.

DCSD juniors surpassed the state average of percentage receiving a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Nearly 90 percent of DCSD students scored high enough to earn the certificate. The state average was just below 88 percent.

On the individual subjects, DCSD juniors scored nearly identical to the state averages:

2015 S.C. WorkKeys – average scale score

Applied Mathematics DCSD 76.9 SC 77.4
Location Information DCSD 77.5 SC 77.6
Reading for Information DCSD 78.6 SC 78.8

In Advanced Placement (AP) courses, where DCSD students can earn college credit, the students passed required examinations at the highest rates of any year for which online data is available from the S.C. Department of Education.

Students enrolled in AP courses at Mayo High and Hartsville High scored between 3 and 5 on end-of-course examinations at rates of 69 percent and 67 percent, respectively. Across South Carolina, 57 percent of students in AP courses scored between a 3 and 5 on examinations. The DCSD rates also mark significant increases over 2014, when those rates were 48 percent for Mayo High and 36 percent for Hartsville High.

For more information, please contact the DCSD Office of Communications at 843-398-2284.

Author: Duane Childers

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