SAT Scores in Milford Below State and National Averages

Milford High School students, on average, scored below state and national averages on the SAT college entrance exam.

The mean SAT scores of Milford High School seniors, at 1,458 this year, fall below the state and national averages, as well as the point considered well-prepared for college.

This year, 200 students at Milford High took the SAT exam. Their mean scores were 483 in critical reading, 499 in math, and 476 in writing, for a total average of 1,458. [See attached public schools pdf]

The SAT exam is divided into three sections: reading, writing and math. The maximum score in each is 800 points, or a combined average of 2400.

The Massachusetts average this year was 506 for critical reading, 523 for math, and 500 for writing. [See attached state report]

Nationally, reading scores fell to their lowest level in four decades. College-bound seniors scored an average of 496 points in reading, a 34-point drop since 1972, reported the College Board, which administers the SAT test.

Nationally, the average writing scores were 488, the lowest level since 2006, and the national math score was 514.

The College Board, in a press release, said students needed to achieve a combined score of 1,550 to demonstrate they were well-prepared for college, indicating a 65 percent likelihood they would earn a B- average or higher during their freshman year of college.

According to the College Board, only 43 percent of 2012 high school seniors who took the test showed they were fully prepared for college.

Among SAT takers in the 2012 class, 45 percent were of minority race or ethnicity, the most diverse class of SAT takers in history. Almost one-third reported that English was not exclusively their first language. And more than a third reported their parents' highest level of education was a high school diploma or less, according to the College Board.

Cathi Villano September 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Teachers put a halt to expanding the AP curriculum, MCAS for lower grades is subpar, and now SAT scores too? Let this be a wake up call to Milford parents interested in the best education possible for their tax dollars- are schools are failing our kids...
Dennis Wilson September 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Last year the SC told the superintendent that he had to become a curriculum leader. And this year he was given a rating of 'proficient' and a pay raise. Swell. If the students can't achieve a combined score of 1500 to demonstrate they are well prepared for college, seems like the teachers might have been right in canceling the project that is designed to move more students into AP courses.
MilfordMomof3 September 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM
This is disheartening. What is going to be done to pull the schools up so that our children have a chance to be successful in life? We offer more money to keep the people in charge of the schools here, now hopefully they step it up and come up with some solutions. I am seeing the schools failing my children here already and mine are in elementary and middle.
UglyHat September 27, 2012 at 03:56 PM
And remember, these numbers reflect only those students that took the SATs. There were 70 or so kids that didn’t take them. If these tests were mandatory I suspect the averages would be even lower. But don’t worry about that. Let’s make sure they all get a fruit and a veggie on their lunch tray.
Cheryl Shea September 27, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Should we have a SAT prep class that actually teaches our children how to take the test, rather than having to pay hundreds of dollars to hire an outside company or private tutor? I know that Milford offers a prep class, however I know that kids think it is a “JOKE CLASS”. I for one do not believe in the SAT test however, it is not going away - it’s the only bench mark our educational system has to compare students across the country. Will allowing students who are not ready to take AP classes increase their SAT scores? I don't think so. This topic is very important however we need to look at the whole picture. First children need to learn how to walk before they run! With that being said, increasing AP classes to receive grant money is not how we better educate our children. Remember - AP classes are not going away. Milford offers many AP classes, many CP classes and very few Honor Classes. High School students are being pressured to take AP classes before they take Honor Classes. There is nothing wrong with teachers recommending students for AP classes. My questions is, is it more beneficial for a student to take an AP class before they are ready and settle for a lower grade or should we challenge our students not to take CP classes, challenge them to get an 85 or better in honors classes so they are prepared to take an AP classes? Being prepared is the key to success. Children need to be better prepared to take these very difficult courses and tests.
Interested Resident September 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
It doesn't sound like the town doesn't have the money to fix the problem, it just isn't a priority. Thanks for returning a million bucks to the town taxpayers, but can we have a school district that works? http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1238767620/Milford-to-return-around-1-million-to-taxpayers
Meg Duncan September 27, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Question, If our kids scored lower in the SATs how did they do in the MCAS? When my kids were in school each passed the MCAS (1 by the 10th grade and the other by the 12th.) Are we putting so much emphasis on just passing a test rather than actually learning? This has been my problem with the MCAS since it was introduced. The SATs make you apply your learnings to pass. --Granted taking tests are not easy for everyone. I include myself in not taking tests well.
Bill Ferguson September 27, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I am relatively new to the town and don't have kids in school but I wonder if it is fair to blame the schools. What is happening at home? Do parents read books?, do they ask questions around the dinner table? Do the families eat together? do parents take kids to the library? How about language at home is it English? Do parents set high standards and goals? How about uniforms so it is clear that school is work not play time? I was amazed when I first saw the kids waiting for the bus in front of my house, girls with very skimpy outfits, guys with jeans falling off. Total effort is required, not just in school.
Jack September 27, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Good thing we built that field
Interested Resident September 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I think it is pretty fair to blame the schools. I grew up in the city and my parents were not highly educated or invested in my education, but thankfully I had a great school. I lived in the projects and lots of people in my class were on welfare, were from single parent families and many had parents who did not speak English, but the school made a difference in our lives. I know it made a huge difference in my life. Now, I have elementary age children here in Milford and I see how much less my kids are learning despite the supposedly higher standards now a days. A lot of local parents I know say, "It is good enough." I think they just don't know better. They think all this PBIS, level zero, behavior stuff is good for our kids and the PTA spends energy fundraising to support it, but honestly all that just makes the teacher's life simpler and doesn't help improve our children's education. It is a great town with wonderful amenities and you can get a lot of house for your money, but I feel that the compromise is the school system.
Linda Worthy September 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Bill, There are certainly families who do not read to their young kids or take them to the library. There are parents who do not check homework or place a high value on education, etc. However, I believe a) those families are in a distinct minority and b) if one simply blames the parents, then what does one do with the schools? A school 'should' be able to create an environment where academic success is valued; where students are exposed to repeated acts of kindness and respect; and where students achieve at a high level. And there are schools who accomplish those things. Schools have struggled with dress codes for many decades and will no doubt continue to do so. Our taxes support the school system and we have a right to demand high achievement.
MilfordMomof3 September 28, 2012 at 12:29 AM
My children are definitely being taught the test as far as MCAS. We have been in 3 schools in this town and all 3 have taught the kids that they must do superb on the MCAS testing. They spend more time working on MCAS than the basics.
Danielle Lizotte September 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I notice from the article that dropping SAT scores is a national trend. People often have a knee jerk reaction to blame teachers, unions and lazy/uneducated parents when student achievement drops. These are not new issues in public education. I sat behind the teacher's desk and I can tell you that when I started in the 90's I met many seasoned teachers that were very unhappy with how teaching had changed. Kids were becoming too oriented to various TV/video game/computer screens with their attention spans becoming shorter. Parents were busier and had a sense of entitlement that disciplining and motivating their children was more the job of the school than the home. I think we have to look at the big picture too. The real wages of Americans have steadily dropped over the last four decades, the cost of everything has increased exponentially, yet we are expected to have more material things. This can only add stress to families. We have polititcians and business leaders that screw up royally who are never held accountable so don't go looking for leadership from the top for working hard and taking responsibility for one's actions. The Milford school system does a lot with what it is mandated to do, educate one of the more culturally and economically diverse communities in the area, so if we are trending on the lower end of average that makes sense to me. Economic privilege has a lot to do with academic success, unfortunately.
Anonymous September 28, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Yeah, that field should help improve those scores. @@
Anonymous September 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
But we have an awesome football field! :( Guess books and better teachers rank lower
worldveggie September 29, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Problems with student achievement are, like many complex problems, cyclic in nature. Administrators, teachers and parents must work together to develop a plan to support educational improvement, must stay the course and not give in to blaming each other. Parents should get to know their students teachers, counselors and support staff and work in collaboration with them. Educators should inform and educate parents about the progress of their students. What I hear quite a bit of is parents speaking disrespectfully of the district, the schools and of individual educators in front of children. The message is very clear-teachers do not deserve respect because my parents (the biggest influence in my life although we don't always feel that way!) don't think they do. And that shows in the classroom. Educators sometimes don't put in the effort to include parents in the educational issues of their students. Maybe it is because certain parents have been unresponsive to calls or emails in the past or because they are hard to reach because of work hours or other responsibilities. We must work harder to be creative in partnering with each other for the sake of the people that we both spend so much time thinking about-these kids. There are no easy answers to how to better help our students succeed and the burden falls on all of us. Showing respect for each other and working collaboratively is a positive step in the right direction. Start by attending your child's open house!


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