SAT scores up in Smithfield, statewide, but more work still needs to be done

SAT scores up in Smithfield, statewide, but more work still needs to be done

SMITHFIELD - SAT scores are up across the state and at Smithfield High School, and while Supt. Robert O'Brien said he is "very happy with the scores," he remains "cautious" because scores can change from year to year.

According to a recent press release from the Rhode Island Department of Education, students in Rhode Island public schools have improved SAT scores in both math and reading during the 2013-2014 school year.

The scores, courtesy of the College Board, were released on Tuesday, Oct. 7, and show that on a testing scale of 200 to 800, Rhode Island students scored 484 in math and 483 in critical reading, both up five points from the 2012-2013 school year.

In writing, Rhode Island students scored 471, which was down two points from the previous year.

By comparison, Smithfield High School's scores are above the state average with 516 in math, 500 in critical reading, and 491 in writing for the 2013-2014 school year.

Smithfield's scores were up from the last school year, when the means were 497 in math, 485 in reading, and 487 in writing, but in the past four years, scores have fluctuated. In 2011, the averages were 502 in math and reading and 505 in writing. Both reading and writing have decreased in 2014 from those scores, but math has increased by 14 points.

"The problem with SAT tests is that it's very difficult to compare one district to another," O'Brien said. "It's contingent upon how many students take the test. Scores may be different from year to year depending on who decides to take the test."

Some of the top scoring districts were Barrington (588 in math, 578 in reading, 566 in writing), East Greenwich (598 in math, 576 in reading, 582 in writing), and South Kingstown (554 in math, 550 in reading, 533 in writing).

"Rhode Island scores fall behind the national averages (501 in mathematics, 492 in reading, 478 in writing), but the gap narrowed this year," according to RIDE, "as the national scores were down two points in both mathematics and writing and unchanged in reading."

"I'm glad (Smithfield) is doing better than the state average," O'Brien said. "It really attributes to work that our teachers are doing, and leadership in the high school. We're doing everything to make sure that our kids are reaching very high standards."

Despite the work that is being done, Eva-Marie Mancuso, chair of the Board of Education, said, "These SAT results are further evidence that Rhode Island students are making good progress toward college and career readiness, but we have a long way to go to meet our proficiency goals."