Herricks, East Williston among tops in L.I. SAT scores

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Five North Shore school districts’ average SAT scores were among the 10 highest on Long Island last year, according to data published by Long Island Patch.

The Roslyn, Great Neck and Herricks school districts’ scores on the 2015 college admissions test ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, among 94 districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties on the list published last month. 

The East Williston and Port Washington school districts placed sixth and 10th, respectively.

“Throughout the district, starting in our elementary schools, our teachers and administrators are committed to providing high quality instruction and 21st century skills that will prepare our students to be life-long learners,” Herricks school Superintendent Fino Celano said in a statement.

The Mineola school district and the Sewanhaka Central High School District ranked 58th and 49th, respectively, according to the list citing data from the state Education Department.

The Manhasset school district’s SAT scores were not available through the College Board, the organization that administers the test, Patch’s list said.

Roslyn students’ scores averaged 1,820 of a perfect 2,400 on the 2015 test, while Sewanhaka students scored 1,474 on average, slightly below the national average of 1,490. The College Board uses a benchmark score of 1,550 to judge students’ likelihood of college success.

The SAT score is “one of many pieces of a well-rounded student transcript” that many colleges are no longer weighing as heavily, Sewnahaka school Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said, but the district is working to raise scores.

“Our ranking on this measure is not where we would like it to be, therefore the district will be continuing to make efforts to assist our students at performing at higher levels,” Ferrie said in a statement.

The College Board implemented major changes to the SAT starting in March, two years after announcing them.

The new test emphasizes more “evidence-based” skills, using more charts and asking students to understand words in context rather than memorize definitions, the College Board website says. It also returns the top score to 1,600, contains fewer questions and does not deduct points for wrong answers.

The changes align the SAT more closely with the national Common Core standards, which will ideally lead to a more direct correlation between scores and academic programs, East Williston school Superintendent Elaine Kanas said.

While the former test supported strong reading and writing skills, she said, the changes better reflect the analytical skills East Williston aims to teach.

“It’s always a plus,” Kanas said. “It’s what we shoot for in our classes, it’s what we shoot for in many of our own assessments that we create ourselves.”

Ferrie said the SAT’s alignment with Common Core will “positively impact” Sewanhaka’s test rankings. The district has redesigned its SAT prep course to match the new test and has also adjusted its classroom curriculum, he said.

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