Bedford Academy High School principal Adofo Muhammed, left, with Bloomberg and Walcott at Tuesday's SAT and AP scores announcement.
More than twice as many students took Advanced Placement exams, and more than 15,000 more high school seniors took the SAT this year than took the exams in 2002, Mayor Bloomberg announced today.
New College Board data show that the average SAT score of New York City students increased eight points over last year. But Bloomberg took the long view as he presented the data for the final time, emphasizing the growth over his time in office over the year-to-year numbers that typically get the spotlight.
The city did post small, across-the-board gains over last year in every SAT subject, with the biggest gains among Hispanic students, who saw a six-point average gain in writing and a five-point average gain in reading.
The city's scores are still far below the national average, and big gaps remain among students. While the average total score for white students was a 1541 out of 2400, the average score for Hispanic students was 1235, and the average score for black students was 1225.
But the data also show the number of high school seniors taking the SAT has increased 53 percent from 12 years ago, and the number of students taking AP exams increased to more than 35,000, from about 17,000 12 years ago.
This slide from a Department of Education presentation compares the number of students taking AP exams to the number of students passing them.
As more city students took exams meant to earn them college credit and credentials last year, more passed.
The finding, contained in College Board data that the Department of Education released today, bucks a common trend in standardized testing: As testing pools grow and become more diverse, average scores are likely to fall.
That trend has played out nationally for years on the SAT, which most colleges require for admission: Nationally, SAT scores have inched downward each year as more students have taken the test, this year falling to a four-decade low.
In New York City, 2.3 percent more students took the SAT last year than in 2011, but the average score stayed relatively flat. (The total number of students taking the SAT last year comprised 89 percent of the year's senior class, although not all test-takers were seniors.) The local average score fell by two points, compared to four points nationally even as the participation rate rose faster here.
And the number of city high school students taking Advanced Placement tests, which show mastery in high-level courses and can confer college credits, jumped by 9.1 percent, according to the data. But the number of students passing the exams rose by even more — 12.7 percent — meaning that students' overall performance improved alongside participation. In total, 56 percent of students who attempted an AP exam last year passed, compared to about 54 percent in each of the previous four years.
The AP gains come as the city Department of Education is pushing schools to expand access to college-level coursework to more students. Forty more high schools administered AP exams last year than in 2009, according to the department.
More city students than ever took exams that could earn them college credit last year. But the pass rate held steady at just over 50 percent.
The number of city high school students taking rigorous Advanced Placement exams last year jumped by 6.9 percent, according to Department of Education data released today. That follows a push by the DOE to expand access to college-level coursework to more students. The number of students passing the exams also rose by 7 percent, meaning that students' overall performance didn't improve.
Black students, who have lagged the most in both participation and performance on AP exams, did post higher scores, with 12.7 percent more passing tests than last year.
The DOE also released information about how New York City students did last year on the SAT. Nationally, performance dropped as the number of test-takers rose. But here in New York, 10 percent more high school seniors took the SAT, but students' scores overall held flat or dropped by one point on the test's three different sections.
Still, city students' average SAT score is well below the national average. This year, NYC students scored an average total score of 1,327, while the national average is 1,483.
Both SAT and AP exam participation and performance will be factored into the college-readiness metric that the DOE will premiere on high schools' forthcoming progress reports.
SAT scores of city public school students rose slightly over last year's scores, bringing a four-year trend of declining performance to an end, according to data released by the Department of Education today.
The average city SAT score was five points higher on the reading portion of the test, four points higher on the math, and two points higher for writing. The gains are statistically significant, but not yet great enough to cancel out several years of loses. Today, the city's average scores to roughly where they were two years ago.
City students' average score was 439 out of 800 on the reading section, 462 on math, and 434 on writing.
The score increases are mainly due to improved results from Asian, white, and Hispanic students. Black students' scores stagnated, except in the case of the writing SAT, where they fell by three points.
Data courtesy of the city Department of Education.
As promised, here's some more detail on who takes the SAT in the city — broken down by race and painted as a picture over time.
The number of black students taking the SAT is now at 10,438, up from 6,763 in 2002. The increase among Hispanic students is even more pronounced: From 5,400 in 2002 to 11,414 in 2009. Scores for both groups in 2009 were stuck in the low 400's on each subject matter. That would make about an 825 out of 1600 on the old scale, which included just math and reading and no writing.
Also, curiously, the number of white students taking the SAT dropped in the city this year (though it's still above the 2002 number) as in America. On the 1600 math-and-reading scale, white students this year scored 1,031 on average.
And everyone seems to score about the same on the new writing test as on the math and reading test.
But, like we keep (unconvincingly?) saying, we're on blog-vacation! So please help us out by pointing out the trends you see in the comments. (And check out Caroline's point about not putting too much stock in changes in the overall averages.)