SAT Scores Fall Nationwide: A Harbinger of U.S. Economic Decline

SAT Scores Fall Nationwide: A Harbinger of U.S. Economic DeclineSAT scores continued to decline across the U.S., according to the College Board which creates and administers the popular college entrance exams. Reading scores for the Class of 2011 dropped three points from last year to 497, the lowest average on record. It's yet another data point in the suggesting that America is falling behind much of the rest of the world in terms of educational attainment.

"In today's knowledge-based, global economy, it's more critical than ever that American students are adequately prepared to pursue advanced degrees and compete for the jobs of the future," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was quoted as saying in the College Board's report. The test results are going the wrong direction if that's his plan.

Compared to last year, the average score for writing fell two points to 489, and the average math score ticked down a point to 514, the SAT Benchmark evaluation reported. A score of 2400 is the highest total achievable on the test. "The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 (Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing score combined) indicates a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of college, which in turn is indicative of a high likelihood of college success and completion," the organization said.

A greater number of students for whom English was not the only language spoken at home were tested this year: 27% of the total population of 1.65 million students who took the SAT. Specifically, said the College Board, "431,319 of SAT takers in the class of 2011 report that English was not the only language first learned at home."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, students who took Advanced Placement courses scored better, averaging 70 points higher than the national average.

While student scores on standardized tests continue to rise in places like China, those in the U.S. continue to falter. Competitiveness in science and physics are at the core of advancement in technology and manufacturing techniques. What theses test scores suggest is that in general, Americans who enter the work force in the next one to five years will not be as well educated as many of their foreign counterparts. That spells bad news for America's ability to lead the world in science and other critical disciplines. With a workforce whose education and skills are in decline, the U.S. will struggle to hold its lead in the industries that are key to our economic future.

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The biggest problem with the school system is lack of discipline. Kids know you can't do anything to them so they do as they please.

September 17 2011 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stop funding Junior college and associate degree programs. What a bunch of BS and waste of taxpayer money. Time to open up trade schools and let people have the opportunity to earn a trade.

September 16 2011 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I kan't beleve how stuped kids ar twoday

September 16 2011 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

i imagine the average sat score is the score for every student in public education. since many other nations do not put everyone in school, is it so unusual they might have higher scores. somehow the national average in a nation that includes everyone in public education could be lower than countries which may only educate a select few. and the economy has nothing to do with learning. i learned to read $.12 comic books and got a very high score on my sats with no sat classes. of course that was back when the top score was 1600. if u want to succeed, you will learn.

September 16 2011 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whether run by Left or Right ideologues, for the past 40+ years US public education has suffered the indignities of extremely ethereal, convoluted existentialism or simplistic, back-yard methodologies. The disruptive consequences of these contradictory gyrations in curricula are becoming self evident in the lack of knowledge and critical thinking ability of our public school graduates. The SAT scores further corroborate this regressive educational trend.
As it is with the economy, it will take some time and concerted societal effort to correct, and reverse, egregious errors of judgement and misguided ideological objectives in public education methodology and curricula. It's already getting beyond the time to take a first-step in that direction.

September 16 2011 at 11:21 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Our governor here in FL (largest crook in Medicare history) promised to create 400,000 jobs if elected. Frist thing he did was eliminate thousands of jobs all in education. Then he forbid the teachers to give any student an F. They must be graded on the curve A to D. Then you wonder why students are becoming dumber and dumber here in America. Republicans do not think education is important. It is as simple as that. After all Bush became president with a D average and was so proud of that fact he went around bragging about it to our school children. What sort of impression do you think that left our children with?

September 16 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They will continue to fall as long as we have a Department of Education running our school system viz a viz state and local government.

September 16 2011 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SATS are a racket
text books are a racket
college costs are a racket.

September 16 2011 at 8:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In Texas, due to a law passed by former governor George Bush and maintained by Rick Perry, most Texans are subjected to electric bills of 2 to 4 times of those from surrounding areas and states. ERCOT was touted as a way to introduce competition into the electric market but in reality it is not because even though we have a choice of as many as 20 companies we can buy electricity from, those 20 companies have to buy their electricity from just 1 company, eliminating any real competition and leading to most Texans paying in total over a billion dollars (not million but billion) more in electricity cost than they should. Mr. Perry, why should we as a nation believe you are any less corrupt than Barrack Obama and his Chicago thugs in the White House?

September 16 2011 at 7:37 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

There is insufficient data presented to draw the general conclusion that falling scores indicate America is falling behind. A higher percentage of students could be taking the SAT than in previous years, so we could be including more students with lower academic achievement. Taking the SAT is not a requirement...

September 16 2011 at 6:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply