DoDEA’s average SAT score drops 21 points
By Karen Jowers -
Posted : September 24, 2007

Defense school officials are digging into the reasons for a 21-point drop in SAT scores for students in the class of 2007.

While national average scores also dropped between the classes of 2006 and 2007, that decline was only seven points.

The reasons for the drop are not yet known, defense education officials said.

“This year’s SAT results present us with a challenge and an opportunity,” said Joe Tafoya, director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, in a statement announcing the scores. “The challenge will be to improve test results across the board for next year, and this challenge gives us an opportunity to critically examine our curriculum and teaching methods.”

An 11-point drop in math scores, to 501, has widened the gap between students in Defense Department schools and those in civilian schools. Average scores of military students are now 14 points lower than the national average of 515.

“We will be looking at that, and at our high school math program in particular,” said Janet Rope, DoDEA system accountability and research administrator.

Rope said officials expected the math scores to go up due to some major initiatives in that program, such as additional support for the algebra program.

“Last year, when the national average scores were dropping, our kids’ scores went up,” she said. The math scores for 2006 increased 7 percent over the previous year.

“We don’t know if last year’s scores were an anomaly,” Rope said. “This [year’s drop] might be an anomaly, but we’re not going to wait to find out. We’re digging in to see if it’s something we’ve done or failed to do.”

School officials said they will make some changes this year.

“But we’re being cautious,” Rope added. “We don’t want to jump the gun. If we see a drop next year, that will give us data to make some real changes.”