I stand corrected

The College Board has released the results of the SAT assessments of high school students for every state and West Virginia is at the bottom—50th out of the 50 states.

However, there is an important caveat to that fact, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

The SAT Suite of Assessments is designed to “measure a student’s college and career readiness… (that) measures the knowledge, skills and understandings essential for success in college and career.”

The average score of West Virginia high school students who graduated in 2023 was 923 or about nine percent lower than the national average of 1028.  Our state’s graduates were eight percent lower than the national average in reading and writing and 12 percent lower in math.

But here is an important point about the test results:

According to the College Board, 90 percent of the West Virginia high school graduating class of 2023 took the test, but nationwide an average of only 41 percent of seniors were tested.    In a few states, only a small percentage of seniors were tested, so an apples-to-apples comparison is misleading.

In an earlier version of the commentary, I pointed to Mississippi as a success story since their senior SAT scores ranked the state fifth highest in the nation.  However, a reader brought to my attention the percentage of test takers, and that changed everything.

The Mississippi SAT scores came from just one percent of test takers! So, a state-to-state comparison is not accurate, unless the same percentage of students took the test.

I stand corrected.

*(Editor’s note:  We have temporarily disabled comments due to an issue with the Facebook comments tool.)

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