Students at Bend-La Pine Schools outperformed those from schools across the state and nation on SAT exams in 2016-17, a year that saw an increase in the number of Oregon students who took the test over the previous year.

Bend-La Pine students scored an average of 1163, compared with a statewide average score of 1106 and a nationwide average of 1071. Those statewide and nationwide average scores include public and private schools, but the Oregon Department of Education also shared the average scores of public schools, which were slightly lower: 1098 for Oregon and 1044 for the nation.

The College Board, which administers the test, changed the scoring system in spring 2016, lowering a perfect score from 2400 to 1600, which had been used previously.

Bend-La Pine had just more than 300 students take the SAT. The school district sees a much higher participation rate among the ACT, another college assessment test, which the district pays for and provides to all juniors who are interested. Close to 90 percent of juniors took the ACT in 2015-16.

Sisters School District’s average score fell only slightly behind Bend-La Pine’s at 1110, still beating the average state and nationwide scores. Other local school district’s scores fell close to the nation’s average for public schools at 1044: Redmond’s average score was 1045, Crook County’s was 1051 and Jefferson County’s was 1005. Culver School District’s average score was 956.

The 2016-17 SAT scores can’t be compared with previous years because of the change the College Board made to the scoring system.

Statewide though, the Oregon Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor was pleased Oregon outperformed the nation’s average and was especially encouraged to see participation up in groups who have been “historically underrepresented,” according to a press release.

“Every student group registered significant increases in the number taking the SAT this year,” Noor said. “For example, last year, only 12.4 percent of Oregon students taking the SAT were Hispanic or Latino, despite making up 22 percent of the student population. This year, 15.7 percent of Oregon SAT takers were Hispanic or Latino.”

The number of Native American students statewide taking the test from 2015-16 to 2016-17 nearly doubled, from 67 to 131.

Because the College Board also administers Advanced Placement tests, Noor also mentioned the number of students taking at least one AP test in 2017 increased from the year before, as did the number of students who earned a proficient score or higher.

Bend-La Pine students took nearly 1,500 AP tests in 26 subjects in 2017.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, kfisicaro@bendbulletin.com

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