The College Board, the entity that administers the SAT college-entrance exams, released state-by-state results from the Class of 2010 this week, revealing some encouraging news for California.
They show that not only did California students improve their scores over 2009 in all three subject areas -- critical reading, math and writing -- but that the pool of students who took the test last year (210,9266) was the largest and most diverse ever (63 percent were minority students). In addition, almost half (43.9 percent) of those who took the test said they intended to become the first generation in their families to attend college.
The college matriculation rates of Latinos, who make up the largest segment of California's student population, has been an issue of great concern, as economic projections show that it must improve if the state is to maintain a sufficient workforce into the future.
Also encouraging for the public schools is that the results show that there was virtually no difference between the 85.5 percent of test-takers who attended public schools and the entire pool of test-takers. Public-school students scored higher in math (520 vs. 516), the scores were identical in critical reading (501), and public-school students lagged slightly behind in writing (499 vs. 500).