Flatlining SAT Scores Are ‘A Call to Action’ for Educators

Katherine Jacobsen, Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2013

More than half of the high school students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) are not prepared for college, according to a report released Thursday by the College Board.

Of the 1.6 million test takers for the graduating Class of 2013, 43 percent met the SAT’s College and Career Readiness Benchmark, and 57 percent did not.


Students who meet the benchmark score of 1550 on their SATs are more likely to enroll in a four-year college, and are more likely to complete their college degrees, the College Board says. A perfect score on the SAT is 2400, and it was achieved by 494 people in 2013, or less than 0.33 percent of all test takers.


Men scored better in critical reading and mathematics, while women fared better in writing. That pattern that has persisted since the writing section was introduced in 2006, according to average test scores.


While SAT benchmark results have been virtually stagnant for the past five years, there was a slight increase in scores for African-Americans and Latinos.

Among African-American test takers, 15.6 percent met the SAT benchmark, up from 14.8 percent in 2012, and 23.5 percent of Hispanics met the benchmark, an increase from 22.8 percent in 2012.

But those numbers are no cause for celebrating, says Donna Ford, a professor at Vanderbilt University’s School of Education.

“There’s an increase, and I’m happy about that, but it’s still not enough,” says Professor Ford, noting the continued existence of a huge gap between scores of African-American and Hispanic students and those of white and Asian-American students.


A new version of the SAT is currently in development and could address some of the background disparities among students. A recent survey of college admissions officers found that most say changes are needed to reduce socioeconomic and cultural biases. The new version is due out sometime in 2015.

[Editor’s Note: The report the College Board released to the media did not mention the percentages of white and Asian test-takers who reached the College and Career Readiness Benchmark.]

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  • Nathanwartooth

    Sign me up for the job of rewriting tests to make them “fair”. I would have a job for life.

    • NorthSea

      Nah, I’d prefer a job as sociology professor. I’d just have to remember not to try and eat solid food after each lecture.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

        Nah, just smoke two joints before class and smoke two joints afterward. Then, smoke two more.

        • NorthSea

          During lecture?

        • Kai is your guy

          “Carl Sagan smoked it everyday, and I never saw a man work so hard as he did”. –Dr.Lester Grinspoon, on his friend.

          • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

            While there are exceptions to the rule, most people while perhaps working hard, make very bad judgements, lots of mistakes and are dangerous while operating anything more complex than a toothbrush. Luckily for Sagan, he accomplished his most difficult work, getting his degree, before he started using. And he used to ease his pain and increase his appetite after being diagnosed with cancer. From my own experience and I have plenty, having worked as a medical volunteer at a famous free clinic for 14 years AND seen how it affects the production and quality of every sort of work from auto-mechanics to attorneys, I don’t want a stoner working for me or anything I depend upon.

      • Erasmus

        Like “Reverends” Jack$on and $harpton and other race hustlers, this woman is on the gravy train for life. She’s identified a “problem,” (black underperformance in education) that can never be fixed, and she can make pots full of money consulting on what to do.

        Who knows? Her “chillens” after her could inherit her gig.

        How sweet it is.

        • NorthSea

          And needless to say, underperformance is a problem for the institution to redress.

    • JohnEngelman

      Ask questions about where to buy crack cocaine, how to sign up for Aid to
      Families with Dependent Children, where to find a good bail bondsman, and how to convince a parole board that one will never again rape a white woman.

  • Puggg

    More than half of the high school students who took the Scholastic
    Aptitude Test (SAT) are not prepared for college, according to a report
    released Thursday by the College Board.

    I bet they’ll next tell us that half of all test takers are below average.

    Men scored better in critical reading and mathematics, while women fared
    better in writing. That pattern that has persisted since the writing
    section was introduced in 2006, according to average test scores.

    That pattern has persisted since God borrowed a rib from Adam.

    There’s an increase, and I’m happy about that, but it’s still not
    enough,” says Professor Ford, noting the continued existence of a huge
    gap between scores of African-American and Hispanic students and those
    of white and Asian-American students.

    It’s about as much fun watching these people desperately trying to find a way to get ridh of that score gap or achievement gap as it is watching Wile E Coyote chase the roadrunner he’ll never catch. I think I’ll send Prof. Ford the 2014 Acme Catalog.

    A new version of the SAT is currently in development and could address some of the background disparities among students

    What, are they going to make the SAT so dogdamned simple that everyone but the special people can get a perfect score?

    • D.B. Cooper

      watching Wile E Coyote chase the roadrunner he’ll never catch.
      Uhh, actually, Wile E. Coyote DID catch the Roadrunner.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      “That pattern has persisted since God borrowed a rib from Adam.”

      I actually didn’t realize until this article that boys were better at critical reading than girls. I always saw that as a girls’ subject (perhaps because I personally do very well in it).

      It seems kind of weird to me that girls would score lower than boys in critical reading but higher in writing. They utilize pretty much the same skills. I scored the exact same score on the critical reading and the writing portion: 730.

      I wonder why there’s such a disparity between the seemingly similar two subjects?

      • Brian

        Critical reading involves abstraction and extraction of meaning. Writing is creative and an input of meaning. I’ve done some writing as well as a lot of reading, and they feel like different pursuits to me.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          That makes sense. I’ve always thought of them as being quite similar, but you’re right, they’re almost opposites.

          • Brian

            All I know is that when I’m reading, not just for fun but to extract as much info as I can from a textbook, caffeine helps. When writing a story or song lyrics, too much focus is bad and I need to ‘dissociate’, let things flow, etc, and whiskey is the helper of choice then. 😉 Taking a walk or a swim can help too. I’ve noticed the same thing in music– writing a song is like writing a story, but practicing or performing is like reading. Just my experience; don’t know if it’s universal.

      • Jonathan888

        I got a 760 on CR on a 720 on Writing. The only difference: the essay.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Know your Affirmative Action enemy. Donna Ford’s entire career has been about pushing racial quotas for the primitive. Yes, “Professor” Ford, I call you and others like you primitive. Build your own Vanderbilt, and I might change my mind about you.

    Straight from Donna Ford’s site:

    Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students in gifted education; (2) multicultural and urban education; (3) minority student achievement and underachievement; and (4) family involvement. She consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education, Advanced Placement, and multicultural/urban education.

    • NorthSea

      Sweet gig.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      A black person who has a job worrying about (but never solving) the problems of black people. Whodathunkit?

      • leftists are delusional

        Sounds like job security.

    • JohnEngelman

      What all this “recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students” means is that a black person who is marginally qualified gets all kinds of opportunities denied to equally qualified whites.

      • CoweringCoward

        Equally qualified? You mean vastly more qualified don’t you?

    • Xerxes22

      I bet that most of her research and consulting consists of cocktail parties, luncheons and conferences in Hawaii or the Caribbean. All paid for by the taxpayers.

      • NorthSea

        Like Obama’s recent ambassador to Jamaica, whose social whirls caused problems for the Embassy staff.

  • Spartacus

    “There’s an increase, and I’m happy about that, but it’s still not
    enough,” says Professor Ford, noting the continued existence of a huge
    gap between scores of African-American and Hispanic students and those
    of white and Asian-American students.”


    You can’t fix biology, you f*&$&%*^ retard !

    • leftists are delusional

      The gender confused think you can, but then they think paying a doctor to do a dickectomy is a good idea.

    • Whitetrashgang

      Well soon they will ,I myself am just waiting for a Brunette with a kung fu grip ,150 IQ, nice perky breasts, and likes being barefoot and pregnant. Also knows how to fix cars and tell my mom to leave me alone.

      • dumbfuckdemocrats

        There’s a girl like that in the Tae Kwan Do class. She also goes to law school and has a perfect body. I don’t know if she likes being pregnant or knows much about cars though.

        • Whitetrashgang

          Well the car thing isn’t a deal breaker.

  • NorthSea

    I wish the “media” had demanded a COMPLETE report from the Board.

  • mgs166

    I wonder what faculty position “Professor” Ford would hold in a non-White nation?

  • MekongDelta69

    Then new SAT:

    “How much is 3 + 2 D’Ontavious?”


    “Very good D’Ontavious. You just got a perfect score.”

  • ncpride

    A new version of the SAT is currently in development and could address some of the background disparities among students.

    In other words, they are going to ‘dumb it down’ just to raise black/brown scores. How many times has this been done the last 50 years for every/anything that requires blacks/browns to test? They are determined to make a college degree even more useless.

  • libertarian1234

    “Also, test makers are working on a new SAT that will reduce “background disparities.””
    Yes, it’s called adjusting for people who have spent 5000 years in the stone-age, because of mental inabilities, also known as “background disparities.”

    Or if you’re crude like me you could call it just plain stupidity.

    They’ll have to think of a name for it, though, because “Dumbing down techniques so blacks can compete” will cause so much shrieking by the black mobs it will have to be renamed.

    Could it be they’re resorting to modification now since their efforts to close the “achievement gap” have failed so miserably?

    If they can’t pass the test, just change the questions: “Whut be 2 plus 2?”

    • Whitetrashgang

      Could call it black privilege ,low IQ, cant read of write, 50,000 a year no problem.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    Recently, I was amazed to hear a Portland news report discuss the effect of budget cuts on student achievement in Oregon. One advocate said, “Because of the shortfall of cash, we cannot allow students to retake exams.”

    What???!!!! Since when has the measure of achievement been pinned to students retaking tests until they score acceptably?

    I was similarly surprised in 2005 when I learned from a high school math teacher that he allowed students to use calculators during Algebra tests. (I took college Algebra in 1976-77 we weren’t allowed them then, just as I hadn’t in 1966 when I first had it. But by the time I finished Algebra ll, I could calculate math almost as quickly as a calculator).

    • willbest

      When you are dealing with trig, probability, multivar calculus, diffEq, etc the arithmetic after you have the equations set up is nontrivial. Straight algebra can be done without a calculator if your textbook authors are halfway competent. Then again, 40 year old textbooks don’t make new money.

      The biggest boohoo I hear is “using 10 year old textbooks”!! And I am thinking so what? The only thing that has changed in the last 10 years is probably geography. History too but I don’t think we ever made it past the 1940’s when covering US or World History when I was in high school. And for good reason. Its too fresh for a proper perspective, relatively new documents are being discovered and declassified etc.

      • Phyllis Schalfly’s rule of thumb is texts before 1970 are better and more accurate.

        Bon tells me that California textbooks for high school literature in the 1960s had a lot of writings by and about and glorifying the political and military leaders of the short-lived Confederate States of America. Yes, California. Yee haw, d00d.

        Math hardly changes, but newer math textbooks are full of social justice sidebars, to try to make high level math relevant to the vibrant crowd. Except if you don’t have the brain chops to do a differential equation, all the social justice sidebars that tell you about how a mulatto solved a differential equation to make a better kind of peanut goop won’t help you actually do a differential equation on your own.

      • Brian

        I have my grandmother’s 1933 3rd-grade math textbook; still looks serviceable, and frankly more challenging than the ones I’ve seen my nephews carrying.

      • Rhialto

        There are tablet computers today that are the size of the calculators of yesteryear that can do algebra, calculus, etc. These should not be used by students taking math tests. As you point out, an arithmetical calculator is of no use in a math (above arithmetic) test: prove log 5 is irrational.

  • bigone4u

    “…changes are needed to reduce socioeconomic and cultural biases.”
    Changes = code word for “dumbing down”
    biases = code word for “the current test is too hard for blacks and Hispanics”
    Memo to College Board: You money-grubbing a******* are traitors to the intellectual tradition of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the whole of Western Civilization. Not even your dumbed-down tests are ever going to be easy enough to solve an intractable problem created by the push to see every black and Hispanic qualify for a government job due to a cheap college degree.

    • Alfred the Great

      I see in my daughter’s ninth grade texts books, that Western Civilization is no longer the focus. Her first lesson in Social Studies was to learn about honor and respect. The point of the class was for the kids to “understand” that all societies are good and not to judge any as less than any others. I taught her what the teacher wants, but also taught her the truth.

  • JohnEngelman

    More than half of the high school students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) are not prepared for college…

    A new version of the SAT is currently in development and could address some of the background disparities among students.

    – Katherine Jacobsen, Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2013

    The new test will not prepare more students for college. It will make more students who aren’t prepared think that they are.

    • That will simply produce more “students” who flunk out after their first or second semesters. This will place universities in a nasty Catch-22:

      1. They can dumb-down their curricula so more inept, lazy, dim-witted blacks and browns can graduate. This will diminish the value of degrees from these institutions and harm their ability to increase tuition rates.

      2. They can maintain existing curricula standards and let the incompetoids flunk out in droves. This will expose them to criticism over high dropout rates and may result in “civil rights” investigations by a future Attorney General of the Eric Holder type.

      • NorthSea

        Sorry, I didn’t read yours before posting mine.

    • NorthSea

      Sooooo….when they get to college, then what? The grading scales there must be adjusted downward to accommodate the influx of students not prepared to be there?

  • JohnEngelman

    They want a test where everyone scores above average.

    • Puggg

      One last chance if you want a piece of my action on some frontage property up on Lake Wobegon.

      • NorthSea

        Saving my money for a bridge in Florida.

    • They aren’t very good at math, are they, John? Or is that “maff”?

      • JohnEngelman

        Every now and then I read an article in a newspaper that actually expresses alarm that half of students who took a test were below average. Those who write the articles reveal a knowledge of grade school arithmetic that is below average.

        When No Child Left Behind was started one of the goals was to enable every child to reach “proficiency.” Proficiency was defined as a B average. Mary Morrison would probably tell us that many children have to struggle to get a D average.

  • willbest

    Is an increase of 0.8% statistically significant?

  • leftists are delusional

    “Among African-American test takers, 15.6 percent met the SAT benchmark”
    Coincidentally about the same percentage of blacks that have an IQ equal to the average white person.

  • Oh boy, do I sense another recentering comin’ on?

  • A Freespeechzone

    So–a new SAT is in development to address cultural differences? WTF!

    I guess basic knowledge of critical thinking, math, literature, etc. only are relative to Whites and not minorities….

    Tell that to the Chinese…..

  • ViktorNN

    They will try to fight the tide for as long as they can by re-writing the tests, but the tide has turned – there are now more non-white children being born than white. This means that this country has begun a long inexorable process of becoming more hispanic, more mestizo, more african, and sadly, more stupid. No amount of test re-writing will change this fact.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    More than half of the high school students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) are not prepared for college, according to a report released Thursday by the College Board.

    One of the most damaging messages given to American students is that everyone should go to college. The LAUSD brags that high school students who earn a diploma and pass the California high school exit exam are college ready. SAT scores show clearly that the majority, especially blacks and hispanics, are not.

    How many of America’s seventeen-year-olds can (handle college-level material)? Three independent methods of calculating the answer to that question, described in the notes, lead to an estimate of 9 to 12 percent, with a realistic best-guess of about 10 percent.

    –Charles Murray, Real Education

    What does “handle college level material” mean? It means having an extensive enough vocabulary and high enough reading level to understand college-level texts because real college-level material is hard.

    Students with average reading ability do not understand college-level assigned readings, and, according to Murray, “take away a mishmash of half-understood information and outright misunderstandings that probably leave them under the illusion they know something they do not.”

    The following are from college-level, freshman texts, p. 400:

    Psychology: “Psychology. “An exciting feature of artificial neural networks is their capacity to learn from experience, as some interconnections strengthen and others weaken. Their learning, together with their capacity for parallel processing, enables neural network computers to pick up how to navigate…”

    English Literature: “If a man chooses to call every composition a poem which is rhyme, or measure, or both, I must leave his opinion uncontroverted. The distinction is at least competent to characterize the writer’s intention. If it were subjoined that the whole is likewise entertaining or affecting as a tale or as a series of interesting reflections…”

    But, every excuse imaginable for student failure will be brought up instead of the REAL reason: low IQ. (Murray says a minimum of 115 to handle college level material).


    FTR: The SAT is being reconfigured once again to align with the new Commie Core standards, based on self-esteem, social justice, and that White Americans are bigots, racists, greedy, poverty-creating capitalists, war mongering imperialists, anti-immigrant, segregating, discriminating, and disenfranchising racists.

    Got all that?

    • Brian

      More than half of the high school students who took the Scholastic
      Aptitude Test (SAT) are not prepared for college, according to a report
      released Thursday by the College Board.

      The obvious question to me is: why on earth would we try to send more than half of those taking the SAT to college in the first place? To have more debt and credential inflation? What is wrong with vocational training and apprenticeships? Not everyone can be an engineer, or even a transgender African poetry scholar.

  • Brian

    It’s difficult for me to see, looking back, how the SAT is racially or culturally biased. They’re not asking questions about opera or NASCAR. It’s more like ‘triangle is to square as three is to what other number?’ All you have to know is a) how an analogy works; b) how many sides there are for those two figures; c) basic command of English.

    • Rhialto

      Opera and Nascar? Yes that’s cultural bias!
      Analogies, geometry, instructional English? That’s Racism!

    • The SAT is biased against the stupid and against those who were too lazy to learn the subject matter in their classes. Stupidity and laziness are very much racial characteristics. There’s always a catch, however: what do we test high school juniors and seniors for, if not the ability to perform at a level that will allow them a reasonable chance of succeeding at university coursework? Do we instead test them on absurdly inflated senses of self-esteem and entitlement? How about testing them on irresponsible, promiscuous sexual behavior? There already is a “test” of sorts for that: unwed childbirth and sexually-transmitted disease infection. Is being able to read and write at an adult level important?

      As a society, do we need standards at all? Only a numbskull would suggest that navy SEAL candidates need not already be exceptionally fit, disciplined individuals and very strong swimmers. While SEAL training is an extreme example, it should be equally obvious that someone who intends to continue academic studies past grade 12 should exhibit a reasonable level of competence in the background material required for this.

  • JohnEngelman

    After the failure of No Child Left Behind one might think they would recognize the cold, hard truth.

    How much more evidence do they need before they recognize the truth of race realism?

    • Evidence is irrelevant so long as libtards can keep saying that they haven’t been allowed to spend enough money yet.

  • dd121

    The SAT test has been manipulated already to a certain extent. Years back boys scored a lot higher than girls (don’t know exact numbers) on the math portion of the SAT. The questions involved measured abstract reasoning. Boys do a lot better than girls with abstract reasoning. To reduce the gap they changed the questions to be computational. Girls do about as well as boys on those questions. Instant gap reduction. (Too bad libs, it doesn’t work on groids).

    • Alfred the Great

      In the ’70s, when I took the SAT, we considered the SAT an IQ test.

  • Juan Outtamany

    You can’t teach algebra to a tree stump. It isn’t the schools, it is the students

  • Joe Mack

    Lol, of course they don’t also mention asian and white benchmark scores in the report!

  • Northerner

    Whites are still represented proportionately in media that people use the most: TV and film. I also wouldn’t worry about the whole WM/BF pairing illustrations. People here on AmRen don’t seem overly concerned about race mixing. There’s at least a dozen active members involved with Asians.

  • CoweringCoward

    I am betting this racial gap could easily be eliminated in at least two different ways, dumb tests down to where a house plant would get a perfect score, or don’t allow white or Asian test takers sharpened pencils.

  • CoweringCoward

    All that would fail, as I have seen on daytime TV, these folks haven’t a clue who is who’s “baby daddy”. Those questions would require some sense of cause and effect just not present in the darker species.

  • capnmorgan5150

    How did you not get charged with a hate crime?

  • NorthernWind

    “Background disparities” , aka IQ differences

  • NorthSea

    I think some universities have courses on how to get through college, i.e. taking notes, etc.

  • Brian

    The question for me becomes what percentage of blacks meet the minimum
    115-120 IQ standard to be competent for college coursework from the
    total population.

    Avg. black American IQ is 85, standard deviation of 12. So only 16% would be above 97, and only 2.5% would be above 109. 0.1%-0.2% would be above 121.

    • M&S

      Thank you very much.
      I’m told that human intelligence doesn’t math out along a conventional Gaussian distribution (Bell Curve) but rather obeys some form of stochastic clustering.
      I would like to know whether or not this is true and if so what it does, specifically to sweep given population numbers into tighter distributions across IQ ranges.
      Can you help?

      • Brian

        I haven’t heard about the stochastic clustering. The numbers I gave are just extracted from the standard Gaussian normal distribution. Whether that is exactly a map of reality is another thing. It is difficult to think, for example, that for every person at 135 IQ there has to be an opposite number at 65…that would be mental retardation, which is generally caused by some malfunction, rather than just drawing a poor hand from the family’s genetic deck of cards. The gaussian does seem to apply mostly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ‘lumpy’ and at least skewed some at the far ends.

  • Aren’t we also constantly told that “tracking” the swarthy incompetoids into vocational fields they can actually handle is also “cruel”?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The U.S. as we know it is collapsing. Our currency is worthless, unemployment is high and never coming down and our White homelands are being inundated by hostile, 3rd World hoards.

    Western Civilization was created by Whites as a reflection of White DNA. Without Whites, there is no Western Civilization, as Whites disappear in the U.S. so does Rule of Law; we are sinking into a 3rd world of grinding poverty and misery.

    “American” doesn’t mean anything anymore. If anything, citizenship is actually a burden. As a White American, you are a second-class citizen in jobs, education, and government benefits. No one cares about you and no one ever will. Those in power will deny that your suffering even exists.

    Every moment, of every day, you are on the brink of professional and personal destruction, because you are White.

    The Marxist have marched through the institutions and taken over and there will be no going back. They have completed their revolution. They are the New Establishment. They are the State. They have won. Our only hope now is separation to preserve ourselves and created a homeland for future generations of Whites — before we are destroyed.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated that “To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots.”

    The government has its boot on our White throats and demands that we accept blacks and browns as equal in all and every way — IQ, disposition, work habits, economic habits, crime rates, etc. Deviation from this dogma is grounds for destruction.

    This is what it’s come to in the U.S. for us Whites and I don’t see any way to stop this anti-White agenda.

    Here is an IQ chart of black and White IQs. You can see how few blacks fall into the 115 + IQ range –yet all of them are encouraged to go to college and are given free rides to do so.


    • M&S

      Thanks Bon, very much.
      Would you please provide me a source for the graph so that I may quote it?
      Also, is there hope in a collapse model which allows whites in isolated areas to remain sufficiently stood off to let the final endgame play out unto starvation?
      I confess I see no resolution for the Chinese Question (ethnically homogenous, mixed capitalism and socialism, a history of dominating their regional and even continental neighbors) which is one of the reasons I don’t fully understand what a Frankfurt School approach to destroying what is without due regard for it’s value in a NWO/OWGian aftermath seeks to achieve. It seems…irrational.
      I have seen documentaries which seem to imply that blacks (in Africa) are socially functional with high 60 IQs and the aid of tribal macro threading as group think along a limited frontage of conceptual as moral dicta.
      But if the power goes out, that will not help blacks here to survive a post-white American environment because so many of the generalist skill sets have lapsed and the total population densities here will not provide for much survivability in the immediate postlude of an American superstate.
      As I see no waiting Atlantis to support the final flight of wealthy whites away from the implosion and have no reason to believe they will be warmly welcomed in nations which no longer fear American muscle guarding it’s citizens, there has to be an in-nation option which is not being discussed.
      So much sabotage and hatred directed at whites for no better reason than that we exist?

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        M & S:
        I provided the documentation. My post to you was taken down – hope you saw it before it was deleted.

        The graph is from The Bell Curve.