The SAT scores are the lowest they have been in ten years and the reason is... It's the economy
SAT scores sunk to the lowest level since the nation's number one college admission test was overhauled in 2005, raising questions as to how effective "no child left behind", "Common Core" and other educational reforms. In addition with the stagene wages and growing economic inequality many are wondering how much of a roll does poverty have to play with the development of our nations' young people.
The College Board reported Thursday that the average score for the Class of 2015 was 1490 out of a maximum 2400. That was down 7 points from the previous class’s mark and was the lowest composite score of the past decade.
The steady decline in SAT scores and generally flat results from high schools on federal tests and other measures reflect how ineffective current education-reform efforts are. The test results show that gains in reading and math in elementary grades haven’t led to broad improvement in high schools, experts say. That means several hundred thousand teenagers, especially those who grew up poor, are leaving school every year unready for college.
It is not easy to determine the root cause for the decline in SAT scores, but educators cite a host of issues that hamper the education process, chief among them is our nation's growing poverty. Education policy makers and teachers also point to language barriers, low levels of parental education and social ills that plague many urban neighborhoods.
Close to 42 percent of students who took the SAT reached a score of at least 1550, a benchmark for college and career readiness. The share was far lower for Black and Hispanic students. Only 23 percent of Hispanic students reached scored 1550 with numbers slightly worse for African Americans young people at 16 percent. Scores also track closely with the income of the student's family , rising with affluence.
In America property taxes generally pay for local public schools, traditionally urban areas with lower property tax base is off-set by federal funding. However in recent years with low taxes and federal cuts to states local governments have been forced to use money allocated for school on other services. You couple that with the decline of the value of homes nationwide and the economic stagnation we have a serious problem providing the resources children need to learn.
Meanwhile families are struggling working more and more hours and many of them lack enough formal education or do not understand the new complicated methods and are unable to assist their children with homework. The upper middle class and rich can afford tutors while the poor children obviously are at a disadvantage. America has to make a serious investment in a robust and top down reform of the public educational system and stop this continuous lurch towards privatization and student selection.