Good news from the schools: Montgomery County public school students in the class of 2012 "set an all-time record on the SAT and significantly outperformed their peers across the state and the nation on the college entrance exam," according to a Montgomery County Public Schools press release.
"MCPS graduates scored an average combined score of 1,651 on the SAT, which is 184 points higher than state of Maryland public school graduates and 153 points higher than the nation’s graduates, according to data released [on Monday, Sept. 24] ... by the College Board," the statement continued.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School's class of 2012 students did even better than that, earning an average score of 1746. The class of 2011 earned an average score of 1742, and the class of 2010 earned an average score of 1729, according to MCPS records.
Walter Johnson's 2011 and 2012 classes averaged a combined 1,744, while the 2011 class did slightly better at 1,746.
Whitman High School students were Bethesda's best with an 1,862 in 2012, 1,857 for the class of 2011 and 1,877 for the class of 2010.
"The average score for MCPS went up 14 points, while the scores for the state and the nation dropped slightly. Seventy-one percent of the MCPS [class] of 2012 took the SAT, which is unchanged from the previous year. In Maryland, 70 percent of public school students took the SAT and across the nation, 52 percent of students took the exam," the statement added.
Shirley Brandman, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, added that "this year’s SAT results make it clear that more of our graduates are ready for college-level work and are on a trajectory for success in the future."
"We should celebrate these results while, at the same time, intensifying our commitment to prepare all students for success in the 21st century," Brandman added.
The SAT, administered by the College Board, has three sections: critical reading, mathematics and writing. Each section is worth 800 points, for a total of 2,400.
MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr added that "we continue to see steady growth in SAT performance from all students and I am very pleased that more of our students are showing they are ready for [post-secondary] opportunities."
"While the scores are moving in the right direction, we must recognize that there are persistent gaps that must be addressed if we are going to fulfill our promise of equity and excellence," he added.
Montgomery County's public schools with the highest combined average score were Poolesville High School (1,869), Walt Whitman High School (1,863), Thomas S. Wootton High School (1,837), Winston Churchill High School (1,836) and Richard Montgomery High School (1,775), according to the MCPS statement.