Texas Top-Ranked High Schools Don’t Prepare Most Kids for College! Compare Texas & San Antonio SAT Scores vs. U.S. Scores

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A Hearst Newspapers analysis of newly released school accountability data shows a majority of students at the top-rated high schools in Texas are likely to need remedial course work when they get to college because they don’t score well enough on entrance exams. The analysis shows that at two-thirds of those schools, the majority of students are failing to score high enough on the SAT or ACT to be considered “college ready,” increasing the chances that they’ll need remedial coursework in college, as well as jeopardizing their chances of finishing college and getting their diplomas.

As you may know, the SAT is made up of three sections: Reading, Writing and Language (also just called Writing), and Math. The Math section is scored on a scale of 200-800, while the Reading and Writing sections are combined to give you a final Evidence Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score on a scale of 200-800.

By combining the two sections, you get a total SAT score range of 400-1600, with 1600 being a perfect score.

Just to give you an idea of how the top schools in Texas performed on the SAT, I’ve listed the top two performing public high schools in the state here, as well as San Antonio’s highest ranked high school:

Top-performing public high school scores in Texas 

According to a February 2018 report by the Dallas Business Journal, two of the state’s Top 50 performing public high schools were in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, with only one in San Antonio:

#1 Texas Academy of Math & Science/University of N. Texas, Ft. Worth, with an average SAT of 1434

#2 Harmony Science Academy/Grand Prairie, with an average SAT of 1385

#48 San Antonio Health Careers High School (NISD) with an average SAT of 1136

Top performing San Antonio area public high school scores 

In November 2018 The San Antonio Business Journal reported the Top 25 performing San Antonio area public high schools. Here are the top two, and the 25th school on the list for comparison purposes:

#1 Young Women’s Leadership Academy (SAISD) with an 1121 average SAT score

#2 Health Careers High School (NISD) with an 1114 average SAT score

#25 Academy of Creative Education (NEISD) with an average SAT score of 981

And, here’s a bit more data according to PrepScholar and a November 1, 2018 article posted by Allen Cheng, on the most recent SAT test scores by state:

Highest score goes to: Minnesota 1298 score

But keep in mind, Minnesota has lower test participation than 78% of the US at 4%. Just 2,464 seniors took the test in 2018.

More students in Minnesota take the ACT than the SAT,. Minnesota’s high average SAT score likely means that only the most prepared, ambitious high schoolers take the SAT. These students tend to score higher, effectively raising the state’s average.”

In Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, and Michigan, every student takes the SAT, because most likely these states require all high school students to take the SAT as part of their normal high school testing.

Four other states: Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia offered the SAT statewide during the 2017-18 school year. But because the SAT isn’t mandatory for all students in these states for the entire school year, participation rates are below 100%.

Florida has the highest participation rate for non-mandatory testing at 97%.

Lowest score goes to: District of Columbia 977 score

The District of Columbia underperforms the national average by more than 90 points.

Texas has a 66% participation rate and a 1032 average SAT score in the most recent testing cycle.

Here’s the link to the Hearst/Houston Chronicle story:


And here’s the link to the PrepScholar blog posted by Allen Cheng:





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