12:11pm

Mon September 24, 2012
The Two-Way

2012 SAT Reading Scores Lowest Since 1972

NPR's Claudio Sanchez brings us this bit of bad academic news: The class of 2012 scored the lowest average SAT reading score since 1972. A bit of good news is that math scores were up.

Claudio filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Writing, too, is down nine points since the SAT introduced a writing section in 2006. The average score in math was 514 out of 800, five points higher than it was 40 years ago.

"Just under 1.7 million high school seniors took the test. Nearly half were racial or ethnic minorities. A fourth did not grow up speaking English at home. Asians outscored White, Black and Latinos. But overall, according to the College Board which commissions the SAT's, 6 in ten test takers are not prepared for college level work. Experts say this is a clear indication that academically, high schools are just not rigorous enough."

In a press release, College Board President Gaston Caperton said these scores should be a "call to action to expand access to rigor for more students."

"Our nation's future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing," he said.

And, as we've reported, this kind of news just keeps coming. In Sept. 2011, we reported that the reading scores were already in bad shape then. And, last month, we reported that according to the ACT , just "25 percent of high schoolers who took the test are college ready."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.