In Darlington County and statewide, SAT scores dip …

By Bobby Bryant, Editor,

The latest SAT scores for public high-school students in Darlington County show a dip compared to last year’s results – but the county school district is far from alone.

New SAT scores throughout the Pee Dee are mostly down from last year, and average scores for virtually all of South Carolina’s public schools reportedly are down from last year’s numbers. Why is this happening? Because many more students took the test this time, officials say.

About 30 percent more high-school students – roughly 6,000 more — took the college-preparatory SAT this year than last, the state Education Department says. The state paid for the tests this time and allowed students to take the SAT during the regular school day instead of the weekend.

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a statement: “This year we … saw an unprecedented number of students taking the SAT, many of whom would not have had the opportunity had the state not made the decision two years ago to cover its cost.”

But encouraging more students to take the test caused scores to flatten out somewhat. The Darlington County School District’s mean SAT score dropped 54 points, to 1011. (A perfect SAT score is 1600.)

Darlington High School’s mean score dropped 33 points, to 899. Darlington-based Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology’s mean score fell 40 points, to 1052.

Hartsville High School’s mean score dropped 23 points, to 1069. The Hartsville-based Governor’s School for Science and Math fell 8 points, to 1370. Lamar High School’s mean SAT score was 916, but last year’s score was not available.

There was some good news for the Darlington County School District in the numbers, however. Average SAT scores for Mayo, Hartsville High and the Governor’s School were above state and national averages. (The state average is 1021; the national average is 1039.)

Author: Rachel Howell

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