Dog Is To Cat As ____ Is To Kitten

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SAT scores for New York City’s class of 2007 were the [lowest they’ve been since 2003], the Department of Education announced this morning. The city’s public high school seniors scored an average of 903 out of a possible 1600 on the test—an eight-point drop from last year and the biggest decline in recent years. Students’ math scores suffered most, falling ten points since 2003. Interestingly, city students’ state math and literacy tests scores have been steadily rising, leading many to question whether graduates are really adequately prepared to handle college-level instruction.

National-wide, [the picture isn’t a heck of a lot prettier]. Scores dropped for the second year in a row, down four points, to an average of 1015. Some are blaming the drop on test-taker exhaustion. Last year, the [College Board]( added 45 minutes to the test, ending a decade-long trend of rising scores. But officials from the College Board downplayed the drop, saying that the scores were “in the normal range” and that the drop from last year is statistically insignificant. They also announced that [a record 1.49 million students wrote the SATs this year](, including more individuals who speak languages other than English and more low-income students who qualified to write the test for free. “The larger the population you get that takes the exam, it obviously knocks down the scores,” Gaston Caperton, the president of the College Board, said. Um, well, unless that population can read and do simple algebra, which all high school grads should presumably be able to do.

Unsurprisingly, [class and race still matter] when it comes to achievement. Students who said that they did not plan to apply for financial aid significantly outperformed those who did, scoring 29 points higher in critical reading and 40 points higher in math. The average combined reading and math score for white students was also nearly 200 points higher than the average for blacks.

Photo courtesy of [ccaristead on Flickr]

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