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MEMO: How many more years can we tolerate lagging test scores?

September 27, 2013

In 2013, the mean total score for all students who took the SAT exam revealed absolutely zero progress from 2012, just barely avoiding the continuation of a downward trend beginning in 2010. The same figure actually dropped from 2012-2013 when limited to public school students.

The achievement gap in scores between white students and their minority peers remains as wide as it has been for the past 7 years, during which time no student demographic group has made visible improvements in test scores.

This year, minority students made up 30 percent of more than 1.66 million test takers. As more students take the SAT exam each year to prepare for college and the workforce, it is critical that these scores serve as a reminder to focus efforts on increasing student achievement.

How many more years must these scores remain the same before leaders recognize the need for reforms that expand educational choices, encourage innovation and put power in the hands of parents?

Because our K-12 schools fail to adequately prepare young people for college and the workforce, the United States continues to fall behind other nations both educationally and economically.

We must redouble our efforts to reform our education system and emphasize student achievement growth. Our kids need an education system that works for them and breaks free from the failing trends of the past.

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