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DoDEA Announces Results of 2009 SAT

For Immediate Release — October 23, 2009 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3265

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — October 23, 2009 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has released the results of its scores on the 2009 SAT exams.

The DoDEA 2009 results reflect slight decreases over DoDEA's 2008 performance in the three areas assessed - critical reading, math, and writing. Nationally, the 2009 scores in the three areas assessed decreased 1 point from the 2008 scores in critical reading and writing and remained the same in math. This year, DoDEA students' average score in critical reading was 505, down 4 points from 2008, but 4 points above the national mean score of 501. The 2009 average score for DoDEA students in math was 498, down 1 point from 2008 and 17 points below the national mean score of 515. DoDEA students' SAT Writing mean score of 492 remained unchanged from 2008 and stands 1 point below the national mean score of 493. DoDEA's African American and Hispanic students scored higher than their peers across all three areas assessed.

While DoDEA students' SAT mean scores in reading and writing closely paralleled the national mean scores in those areas, students' scores in math remain as an area of specific focus for DoDEA leaders. DoDEA's 2008 mean math score, which was 16 points below the national mean, prompted the beginning of a long-term initiative to help students achieve and sustain improved performance in the math portion of the SAT.

"In keeping with DoDEA's commitment to continuous improvement, we reviewed last year's SAT math scores closely as part of a thorough review of our mathematics curriculum and instruction practices," said Dr. Shirley A. Miles, DoDEA Director. "We conducted a formal Mathematics Program Evaluation to take a look at what we are doing in math and how we are doing it. We also formed a Mathematics Task Group made up of teachers, who reviewed our program and will make recommendations for improvement," she added.

Part of the Mathematics Task Group charter was to review DoDEA's mathematics standards. Based on results from the Program Evaluation and the Task Group's recommendation, DoDEA's mathematics program leaders rewrote standards to be more clearly delineated for each high school mathematics course. The revised standards were then sent to the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) for a review in the areas of depth, breadth, clarity and specificity.

Last month, DoDEA received results of the McREL review, which awarded a score of 4 to all standards submitted for review. The score, highest on the scale of 1-4, indicates the DoDEA high school mathematics standards were exemplary in meeting the criterion, with minimal or no revisions of the standards recommended.

"We are very pleased with the results of the McREL review of our high school mathematics standards," said Dr. Miles. "We will begin implementing these standards into our instructional practices, and we feel that we will be able to see the return on investment in steady, incremental increases in our SAT scores - something we intend to maintain in the long term to ensure highest student achievement," she said.

Critical reading, math, and writing results for the DoDEA system, its areas (Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) and Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS)) and the nation are reported in the table below:


2006-2009 SAT Results*
DoDEA, DDESS, DoDDS, and the Nation

*SAT scores range from 200 (lowest) to 800 (highest)
SAT 2006 2007 2008 2009
DoDEA Critical Reading 515 512 509 505
DDESS Critical Reading 495 478 492 478
DoDDS Critical Reading 518 516 510 508
Nation Critical Reading 503 502 502 501
DoDEA Math 512 501 499 498
DDESS Math 489 475 480 471
DoDDS Math 515 504 501 501
Nation Math 518 515 515 515
DoDEA Writing 502 495 492 492
DDESS Writing 483 463 473 459
DoDDS Writing 505 499 494 495
Nation Writing 497 494 494 493


As in the past several years, the DoDEA overall participation rate in the SAT exams remained substantially higher than the nation's participation rate. For 2009, DoDEA's SAT participation rate was 67% (2,010 students), reflecting a 1 percentage point increase over 2008. Nationally, the SAT participation rate was 46%, (1,530,128 students), a 1 percentage point increase from 2008. Participation rates for DoDEA, DDESS, DoDDS and the nation are reported in the table below:


2006-2009 SAT Participation Rates
DoDEA, DDESS, DoDDS, and the Nation
SAT Participation 2006 2007 2008 2009
DoDEA 65% 65% 66% 67%
DDESS 43% 43% 37% 39%
DoDDS 70% 70% 70% 73%
Nation 48% 48% 45% 46%


In DDESS, 167 students took the SAT exam; in DoDDS-Europe, 1,201 students took the test; and in DoDDS-Pacific 642 students took the SAT exam. Because ACT is the primary college entrance exam for Ft. Campbell and Ft. Knox students, the DDESS participation rate for the SAT is normally lower than the rate for DoDDS.

Performance of African-American Students

Although DoDEA's African-American students scored slightly lower in 2009 than in 2008 in the three areas assessed, they did score 29 points higher than their peers in the nation on the critical reading test; 17 points higher in math; and 24 points higher in writing in 2009.


2006-2009 SAT Results for African-American Students
African-American* 2006 2007 2008 2009
DoDEA Critical Reading 458 463 462 458
Nation Critical Reading 434 433 430 429
DoDEA Math 445 448 446 443
Nation Math 429 429 426 426
DoDEA Writing 447 455 447 445
Nation Writing 428 425 424 421


Performance of Hispanic Students:

While the Nation's Hispanic students' mean scores declined from 2006 to 2009, DoDEA's Hispanic students scored above their peers in the nation in all subjects. DoDEA Hispanic students outperformed their stateside counterparts by 16 points on the critical reading test, 6 points on the math test, and 11 points on the writing test.


2006-2009 SAT Results for Hispanic Students
Hispanic 2006 2007 2008 2009
DoDEA Critical Reading 487 471 497 470
Nation Critical Reading 456 458 455 454
DoDEA Math 476 469 476 464
Nation Math 463 463 461 458
DoDEA Writing 475 462 477 458
Nation Writing 451 450 447 447


About the SAT:

The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour and 45 minute test that is a measure of the critical thinking skills related to successful performance in college. The 2009 SAT scores reflect the 2006 changes to the SAT which now includes three sections instead of two. The College Board changed the Critical Reading section by removing the section on analogies and by adding short reading passages to existing long reading passages. The Math section was changed by removing quantitative comparisons and by adding topics from third-year college preparatory math. The writing section was new in 2006. SAT scores range from 200 (lowest) to 800 (highest), with the 2009 national average score of 501 for the critical reading test, 515 for the math test and 493 for the writing test. The SAT Reasoning Test is intended to supplement the secondary school record and other information about the student, in assessing readiness for college-level work.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.