Georgia’s New Education Slogan: We’re Not Last!

The College Board, which oversees SAT testing, released results today for national SAT score state rankings. Last year, Georgia was tied for last with South Carolina; this year, we have risen to a stellar . . . 46th. But hey! We beat out Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, and Hawaii. Evidently, it was our strong(ish) showing on the written portion that propelled us out of last place, but have no fear, we still bring up the rear on the math portion.

I think we have a new slogan here: “We’re not last! We’re not last! We’re not last!”

Seriously, I know that improvement is a good thing, and won’t happen overnight, but I just don’t know that coming in 46th in the nation is something to get too excited about. Not when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that the United States is 24th place Internationally in math. Where does that put Georgia?

9 Comments so far

  1. Daniel (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 8:19 am

    Having worked in the DeKalb school system last year on a fellowship from GaTech, I Was thrilled to see this news – especially as it came from the writing section. We spent one morning every week of the school year having the students in all classes work on writing and it seems that just starting with these sorts of efforts have begun to pay off. Imagine if we continue the foort and continue to rise in the rankings – benefits abound for all of our students. Yes, 46th isn’t fantastic. But it is the highest that Georgia has ever placed and +4 is pretty dang good for a single year. And considering what we started with, it is pretty nice indeed.

  2. tiffany (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 9:11 am

    don’t get too happy. the national average is down.

  3. ed (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 9:56 am

    didn’t we climb because our average score didn’t decrease as much as the other states?

  4. abby (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    The test is more difficult this year. Georgia placed 39th in the new writing section and held steady in math. Verbal section scores did drop, but half as much as the national average.

    I’m not saying 46th is a good position . . . but the jump is a good sign. It’s the highest our state has ever been ranked. Pretty sad, but a move in the right direction.

    Also, public schools ranked 44th, black students ranked 34th and Hispanic students ranked 34th.

    That said, I think SAT scores are a weird thing to rank states on — don’t a lot of other states focus on the ACT? So only the kids interested in out-of-state college (and are perhaps more academically inclined) would be taking the SAT. . .

  5. Daniel (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    Abby – A lot of midwest and midsouth states do focus more on the ACT. I went to high school in Memphis and the ACT ws a lot bigger there than it is here. Oh, most college-bound students took both, but the ACT was the more important one.

    I wonder also – I think in Georgia more students take the SAT than in most state (I could be wrong though). Could this bring our scores down?

  6. Eric (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 12:11 am

    Sonny Purdue is actually running with the SAT story. I can picture the television ad… “Georgia, Sonny’s added a billion dollars to education. We now rank 46th in SAT scores nationwide.” Something to be really proud of….

    Daniel, you’re totally right. I saw the other day, an article that I believe was in a recent Sunday Paper that our ranking (based on last year’s numbers) would be somewhere in the high 30s if our SAT taking numbers were adjusted to be on par with other states.

  7. Annie (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    Agreed, Daniel, that any improvement is a good thing. Big kudos for you in your part in making the improvement, too. My concern, though, is that we are too quick to pat each other on the backs when we have so much more to improve on.

  8. CM (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    Ranking is often a very misleading way of measuring differences. I hope that one of these years news articles will stop focusing on the rank and focus instead on the range and the standard deviation. I realize that not many people know the definition of standard deviation, but it’s easy to explain using a graph.

  9. Annie (unregistered) on September 1st, 2006 @ 7:44 am

    Maybe when our kids improve their math scores, we can start explain to them standard of deviation. :-)

    Just kidding. You are right – news articles often speak to the lowest common denominator as far as intelligence goes. They wouldn’t want to strain our brains with a lot of statistics; much easier to just put it all in a list, so that the audience can find out “who won” or “who we beat.”

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