In the first year of Illinois high school juniors taking the SAT for state testing, Taylorville High School principal Matt Hutchison had high hopes for the test scores. When the scores came back; however, those high hopes quickly came back down to earth.
Hutchison presented the test scores to the board at the Taylorville School Board Meeting on Monday. Taylorville’s high school juniors averaged a 985 on the SAT, short of the 998 national average and 1,022 state average. 66 percent of the juniors met the 11th grade benchmark in English, Reading and Writing, while only 46 percent met the same benchmark in math.
Hutchison told the board that part of the issue with the math scores may be that not every student at the school is exposed to the math on the test before their junior year. He presented a plan to change that going forward.
Hutchison says the changes would mainly affect those in the lower track math courses at the high school. He says it’s designed to give students exposure to geometry and algebra at the same time.
Hutchison says the school cannot control outside factors such as the test itself or test anxiety among students, so they will control what they can.
Also changing in the math curriculum is that students will be able to move between the low, medium, and high track courses to give students the appropriate challenge needed to stimulate their education. Overall, 43 percent of Taylorville juniors hit the composite 11th grade benchmark on the SAT exam given in April.