While the national* mean dropped five points on the 2006 Critical Reading SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) students showed a four point improvement over last year. In math, Okaloosa's mean score rose six points, while the national mean decreased by two points.
As a result of this improvement, Okaloosa students' mean of 525 for Critical Reading is now a full 22 points above the national figure. In math, Okaloosa's mean is 532, 14 points above the national mean of 518.
The gap between Okaloosa students' SAT results and those of students across the state is even more pronounced. The mean for all Florida students is 496 for Critical Reading - 29 points less than that of OSCD students. In math, Florida students scored 497 -- 35 points fewer than those in OCSD.
This was the first year of scoring on the writing section of the SAT, and once again, Okaloosa students outshone their peers. With a mean score of 506, they beat the nation by nine points and the state of Florida by 26.
"We are proud of our test scores, even though we know there is always room for improvement," states Dr. Diane Kelley, Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction for the district. "Our goal is to increase the number of number of students taking the SAT and ACT, as well as to increase the number of scholarships to our students."
Okaloosa students also fared well on the ACT (American College Test.) Their mean composite score was 21.8, which was fully 1.5 points higher than the rest of the state and 0.7 points higher than the national mean.
"I am very pleased with the reports," adds Curriculum Specialist Shawnea Tallman. "But it is a whole new ballgame, where we are making global comparisons. In math and science, we are setting our sights well beyond the national average."
* "National" scores actually refer to the scores of all test-takers. A small percentage of the test-takers are from other countries, such as Canada.
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