By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The College Board released 2012 SAT results on Monday, and for the most part, students of the Shenandoah Valley are doing better or are at least on par with their peers across the state.
On average, Virginia's 2012 public school graduates outperformed their peers nationwide on the college admissions test in all three SAT subsections. The sections are critical reading, mathematics and writing, and each is worth up to 800 points.
The state saw a slight increase in the number of public school students taking the test in 2012. Virginia's mean scores were 508 in critical reading, 510 in mathematics, and 492 in writing. In comparison, the national mean scores were 491 in critical reading, 505 in mathematics, and 481 in writing.
When it comes to mean scores, Shenandoah County Public Schools did the best when compared to results from the state and Frederick and Warren counties.
The school system had 176 students take the SAT. In critical reading, Shenandoah students achieved three points above the state mean score and 20 points above that of the nation. The county had the same mean score in mathematics as the state, but scored six points better on average in writing than students across the state, and 17 points better than the national average.
Superintendent B. Keith Rowland declined to comment on the fact that the school system did better than other nearby counties.
"I can only say that we are pleased with the results of our students," he said Monday.
Frederick County Public Schools had a record number of students take the SATs in 2012 at 494. According to a press release sent out by the division on Monday, student participation in taking the test has increased every year since 2010.
Frederick County test takers scored one point below the state average in critical reading, the same as the state in mathematics and three points above the state average in writing.
"I'm particularly pleased that more students are taking the SAT each year," said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Peter Vernimb. "The increased number of test takers indicates more students are interested in attending a college or university that requires the SAT be taken as a prerequisite."
According to the Virginia Department of Education, the number of students statewide taking the rival ACT is increasing, but the SAT still remains the dominant college entrance examination in the state.
Slightly over 200 public school students in Warren County took the SAT in 2012. The school system, on average, came in below state and national mean scores in each section of the test. The mean scores for the county were 490 in critical reading, 488 in mathematics, and 470 in writing.
Superintendent Pamela McInnis said the county is also seeing an increase in the number of students taking the test.
"While we continue to look for improvement in our scores, both [high] schools are making progress in having students achieve at higher levels," she said.