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August 02, 2017

Latest SAT Scores Reveal Worsening Opportunity Gap in Connecticut

On Tuesday, the State Department of Education released results from the second Connecticut SAT School Day, which measures 11th grade students’ readiness for college. This is the second year that all Connecticut 11th graders took the SAT. In response, Jennifer Alexander, CEO of ConnCAN, released the following statement: 

“The State Department of Education reported a slight uptick in SAT scores this year. While we are pleased to see progress, it is not enough. Connecticut’s huge opportunity gaps persist, leaving too many children of color unprepared for the challenges ahead.   

In two short years, almost half of Connecticut’s youngest workers will be people of color. These new SAT scores, along with the fact that almost half (46%) of Connecticut’s students need remedial coursework in college, are cause for concern. They are further evidence that too many students — especially children of color —  continue to graduate high school unprepared for college or the workforce at a time when readiness has never been more critical. 

2017 SAT Scores Show:

  • Too few students ready in math. While eight of 10 of Connecticut’s fastest-growing careers requiring a bachelor’s degree also require deep knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), these SAT results reveal that less than half of Connecticut students are college-ready in math. Only four in 10 of all Connecticut students and fewer than two in 10 Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and low-income students are ready for college-level work in math. Fewer than one in 10 English Language Learners are ready for college-level work in either English or math. 
     
  • Incremental progress. These results show slow to non-existent progress for students of color. While white students gained 3.5 percentage points in reaching college and career readiness in math, Black/African American students only gained 0.1 percentage points in math. Latinos gained by one percentage point, and English Language Learners by .2 percent. Larger progress was recorded for reduced-lunch eligible students and students who identify as two or more races, who saw a 5.4 and 6.4 percentage point gains in math, respectively.

Connecticut has reached a fork in the road where future progress cannot be taken for granted. We face significant challenges, and if we are going to remain competitive, we have to be honest about how well we are preparing young people for success after high school. The economy of tomorrow does not look like the economy of yesterday. These SAT scores are more evidence of a worrying mismatch between readiness standards and reality. Connecticut must make more progress, at a faster rate, to ensure that all students graduate prepared for success.”

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