US: SAT scores drop, gaps grow

Average SAT scores in the US dropped slightly for those who graduated from high school this year, as many more students and a more diverse group of students than in the past took the exam, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. While College Board materials stressed those increases in participation, the data released also included news that may concern many educators: gaps in scores - both by race and ethnicity, and by family wealth - grew this year.

College Board officials generally play down (and did again so this year) slight variations in average scores, saying that movement of a point or so doesn't mean much. But this year's averages - 501 for critical reading, 515 for mathematics and 493 for writing - continue a period of small declines or stagnant scores.

Data on the breakdowns by race and ethnicity show a widening gap between Asian American test takers and other groups. Adding all three portions of the SAT, Asian Americans gained 13 points, while American Indians gained 2 points and all others lost. Last year, Asian Americans led only with the mathematics average, but this year their average score overtook that of white students on writing, too.
Full report on the InsideHigherEd site