A school administrator points to the larger number of test takers as the reason for a sharp drop in the 2012 average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
"When the number of test takers increases, it is common for mean scores to decline because more students of varied academic backgrounds are represented in the results," Margaret Boice, director of secondary education, said, noting that 317 Ludlowe students took the SAT this year, compared to 307 in 2011. "While this is apparent in some of our results to varying degrees, in some areas we maintained or even improved upon past results."
According to 2012 SAT results released Monday, the score for math at Ludlowe this year declined sharply by 20 points from 565 points for last year, while the score for writing also fell significantly from 567.7 points to 558 points. The average score for reading also decreased slightly from 548.3 points to 545 points.
At Fairfield Warde High School, scores on the standardized test rose marginally in reading to 537 points from 535.7 points and in writing to 555 points from 551.4 points, while declining slightly from 550.9 points to 548 points in math. This year, 275 students at that school took the test, compared to 244 last year.
Emails seeking comment from Superintendent of Schools David Title and Deputy Schools Superintendent Karen Parks were not returned.
Boice said the rise in test takers indicates that more Fairfield students are seriously pursuing education after high school, a trend found throughout the state, she said.
"In fact, Connecticut ranks fifth in the country in SAT participation rate," she said. "We continue to monitor and analyze SAT data, along with other sources of information such as CAPT results, course enrollments and Advanced Placement results, to ensure that we are providing all students with the level of preparation they need to be successful after they leave our high schools."
Board of Education Chairwoman Pamela Iacono said she is pleased that Fairfield test scores remain higher than the statewide average.
"There is always room for improvement, but we should also celebrate this success," she said.
Average scores for students at Fairfield's two public high schools were mixed when compared to those at the five other Fairfield County high schools within the town's district reference group.
Trumbull High School students scored 525 points in reading, 544 points in math and 536 points in writing, while Newtown High School posted respective scores of 536, 553 and 539. Average scores for Brookfield High School came in at 530, 543 and 531, and New Fairfield High School's results were 539, 533 and 549.
Greenwich High School came in with the highest average scores overall, with 563 points in reading, 578 points in math and 576 points in reading.
The Fairfield schools beat the statewide average, which declined by three points in reading and writing to 506 points and 510 points, respectively, while math declined one point to 512 points.
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