We’re #46!

In SAT scores:

With the added writing portion, the new SATs have a total possible score of 2400. Previously, 1600 was a perfect score on the tests.

Georgia’s overall score was 1477, which was lower than the national average of 1518.

The state remained last in math, with an average of 496 out of a possible 800. The state’s score on the verbal portion of the test — now known as critical reading — fell three points to 494 of a possible 800.

Pennsylvania, Florida and South Carolina all scored lower than Georgia on the new test, with Hawaii pulling up the rear, according to results released by the College Board, overseer of the powerful college admissions exam.

The state’s higher ranking is sure to cheer politicians and educators who have long lamented the state’s low standing on the prestigious test.

Sure to be a boost for Kathy Cox…..and Governor Perdue.

More from Governor Perdue’s press release:

Georgia’s African-American students outscored their peers across the nation, scoring an average of 1,293 on the test, ranking 34th in the nation and two points higher than the national average for African-American students. Georgia’s Hispanic students also showed improved performance with an average score of 1,419, ranking 34th in the nation and averaging 48 points higher than the national average for Hispanic students. Georgia continues to have one of the smallest achievement gaps among student subgroups in the nation.


  1. ugavi says:

    What is interesting is the results for African-American and Hispanic students. We are better than the national average in both of those demographics.

  2. Mike says:

    These results are not a good comparison of Ga’s academic standing with other states. We encourage all students (i.e. those with no desire to go to college) to take the SATs. Many universities in other states primarily use the ACTs as a basis for admissions. The only kids taking the SATs in those states are those applying for out of state colleges. Obviously, Ga’s educational system is not the class of the country, however I do believe we’re better than 46. I would be interested to see if how Ga ranked state by state in the ACTs. Anyone know if these rankings exist?

  3. I am setting myself up for a beating here, but I would just like to point out that the comparison isn’t really the same as it was in previous years. Last year (when we were #49) they only used Math and Reading. They’ve added a new category this year which makes comparisons kind of difficult.

    So, how’d we do compared to last year. Well, we are still dead last in Math, and the total Math + Verbal score for the state is actually 3 points lower than it was last year when those were the only things measured.

    So, great headline for Perdue (I guess, is #46 out of #50 a great headline?) but we’re only out of the gutter because they added a writing element – which I may add is graded subjectively.

  4. Demonbeck says:

    I think it is sad that Democrats are actually rooting for Georgia’s students to do poorly on aptitude tests. I guess it isn’t unexpected though.

  5. Demonbeck, show me where I am rooting for lower test scores?

    Sonny is the one who is patting himself on the back even though our average score in Math and Verbal (the only thing you can compare to the previous year) actually went down 3 points.

    I guess that’s the new Georgia for you. Fudge with the numbers to make it look like we’ve made progress.

  6. buzzbrockway says:


    Sonny didn’t come up with these numbers, the SAT people did. They are the ones who changed the test, administered the test, compiled and then made public the results.

    It’s going to be very hard for Bobby Kahn, Mark Taylor and Bill Shipp to spin these numbers negatively.

  7. ugavi says:

    I think you are seeing the spin. The fact is the results have gotten better since Barnes/Taylor lost. We still have a long way to go, but are headed in the right direction.

  8. Jeff says:

    I expect that Sonny Perdue will accept the credit for bringing Georgia to #46. Chrisishardcore is partly right, but it is not the New Georgia that has fudged the numbers, it is the Republican right that has fudged the numbers to make itself look presentable. A lot needs to be done on the academic front, like say lower the drop out rate. I think Perdue’s education cuts (exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars) has taken Georgia in the wrong direction. If Taylor is going to win, I expect he will, numbers about education cuts and Sonny Perdues “skool” plan need to be thrown into the media. The Republican Party has always been hostile to the education of Americas children,…unless that education is in Sunday school.

  9. Demonbeck says:


    In your last post you were quite evident in your zeal for bad news on this front. Going so far as to looking into breaking down the numbers to make your point. Numbers may not lie, but if you play with them enough you can make them say anything. This is a different test from last year, so scoring will go up and down. A three point loss in the overall score from two out of the three sections from this year’s test does not mean that our state’s education has worsened. However, when compared to other states throughout the nation Georgia has jumped up to #46. Hardly something worth bragging over.

    By the way, tell me where the Democrats got us in their 130 years of power in Georgia?

  10. Mojo says:

    Is anyone else concerned that Mississippi and Alabama are actually higher than Georgia? Or, that people seem to be happy that we are 46th? Are we now the Detroit Lions of the United States?


    I don’t know, a lot can go up and down in 130 years.

  11. Mike says:


    These stats mean nothing. In ’05 the participation rate of the top ten states were as follows:

    1 Iowa 5 percent
    2 Illinois 10 percent
    3 North Dakota 4 percent
    4 Wisconsin 6 percent
    5 Minnesota 11 percent
    6 South Dakota 5 percent
    7. Missouri 7 percent
    8 Kansas 9 percent
    9 Nebraska 8 percent
    10 Michigan 10 percent

    Average participation rate was 49%

    “What about Georgia?”, you may ask. Try 75%

    New Hampshire did pretty damn good, coming in at 28th with an 81% participation rate, but the demographics in NH are just a bit different that Ga.’s

  12. Mike says:

    Jeff (the pansy lib, not the bad ass special ops conservative),

    Just because many conservatives are hostile to public education does not mean we are hostile to education. However, it is true that most of us like dirty water, filthy air and enjoy clubbing baby seals

  13. Demon,

    I hardly had to break them down or play with them too much to point out that on the only way you can compare them with the previous year, they are worse. In the interest of fairness, they are worse in most of the country. However, I think you’re right that this is hardly something worth bragging over.

    It’s an interesting question you end with, and it’s similar to Sonny’s why would we ever want to go back. Well, the real question might be if we went back we’d end up where we already are.

    I crunched some numbers so you guys wouldn’t have to. Based on last year’s rankings, when we were tied for 49th in the state – if we used the same metric, we would still be #49 (no longer tied, SC moved down to #50).

    So, there you go. No improvement from last year on the only metric that can be measured to last year.

  14. ugavi: They are 5 points higher than 2002 for both Verbal and Math. Admitted. We are still 49th in the country on that metric though.

    White Students
    National Average, Georgia Average, Georgia Difference
    Reading: 527, 521 (-6)
    Math: 536, 524 (-12)

    Black Students
    National Average, Georgia Average, Georgia Difference
    Reading: 434, 435 (+1)
    Math: 429, 427 (-2)

    Hispanic Students
    National Average, Georgia Average, Georgia Difference
    Reading: 458, 480 (+22)
    Math: 463, 484 (+19)

    As you can see, Georgia’s Hispanic students do much better than the national average, Georgia’s black students are at the national average, Georgia’s white students lag behind.

  15. Mike says:

    “As you can see, Georgia’s Hispanic students do much better than the national average, Georgia’s black students are at the national average, Georgia’s white students lag behind.”

    Not true Core. Why does it always have to be about race with you?

  16. Demonbeck says:


    Again, this year’s test is completely different from last year’s test. Comparing scores from one section to another is comparing apples to oranges.

    If anything, this is a slightly positive story for Perdue anyway you look at it. It still is not anything worth bragging about.

  17. Mike says:

    And again Core……….when a small %, say 5%, of highly motivated students in a state such as Iowa take a test, they are going to have a better average than the 75% of students that are pushed to take a test in a state like Georgia. Stats comparing black, whites and hispanics mean nothing. Although logic is not a strong suite of most Democrats, I’m pretty sure you follow me.

  18. Mike, you are the one that brought up the thing about New Hampshire’s demographics being different. Did you mean that they like hockey instead of football there?

    My statistics were true. I got them from the collegeboard website. Georgia’s White Students do not do as well as the National Average White Students. Georgia’s Black students perform at about the national average for Black students, and Georgia’s Hispanics do better than their national peers.

    This year’s test is not completely different and you can compare the parts.

    A refresher: The SAT used to consist of two parts, a Math section and a Verbal (Reading) section. Now, the SAT has added a third part – Writing.

    The Math and Verbal sections have not changed, only writing has been added. It is certainly possible to compare this year’s Math to last year’s Math. It is the same section, same test, etc.

    Why is that so hard to understand? You obviously can’t compare a pitcher’s stats to a right fielder, but we are talking about comparing pitcher to pitcher, right fielder to right fielder.


    Mike, back to you. You are the one that brought up New Hampshire’s demographics to make the point (I can only assume) that Georgia’s high percentage of minority students drags down our overall score. That’s true, but I separated the whites only scores (and you can compare them to the national average or else why would they publish these stats) to show that we lag behind the averages in all categories and it can’t just be blamed on demographics.

  19. Mike Hauncho says:

    I think it is silly to expect to see a dramatic difference in scores from one year to the next. If you have the same teachers teaching the same subject each year but to different kids why should the scores be better or worse than the year before? Not all children learn at the same pace and if the scores are from different children than the year before then they should have no connection to the class before them. It took 13 years of school for us just to learn enough to graduate high school and you expect a huge rise in scores over a one year period. The problem with education in America is not something that is going to be fixed over night. It is going to require the minds of those teaching our kids to grow just as we expect our childrens minds to grow. Government is not the answer but it can be part of the solution.

  20. Now I’d like to address something else, and that is ACT scores. In Georgia, many students (75%) are pushed to take the SAT, but only a few take the ACT. So, how do the ACT students stack up to the rest of the nation.

    They are also ranked 46th in the country.
    Here is the link:

    Now, here are some things I find interesting.

    In Georgia, only 30% of the students take the ACT, and their average score is 20.2. In Illinois and Colorado, 100% of the students take the ACT and their average score is 20.5 and 20.3 respectively, higher than Georgia both.

    In neighboring Alabama, where 79% of students take the ACT, they have the same 20.2 score.

    Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas and Oklahoma all have participation of 64% – 93%. And in all states, the ACT score is higher than Georgia, ranging from 20.5-20.7.

    Let me put it another way. For the ACT, among states where less than 50% of the state takes the ACT, only two states – South Carolina and Washington, DC do worse than Georgia.

    Among states that have participation rates higher than 75% (similar to our SAT participation rate), only Mississippi does worse than Georgia’s 30% that take the test.

    So yeah, I think we can close the book on Georgia is only bad at SAT’s because we make so many people take it. We suck at ACT’s too and only 30% of the state takes it.

  21. atlantaman says:

    Our SAT scores have been poor during Barnes’s watch and now they are poor during Sonny’s watch, you guys are splitting hairs with your arguments. The reason we are so far behind is obiviously due to Georgia’s huge participation in the SAT versus other states.

    If we took the top 10% of our high school students and only allowed them to take the SAT’s (not that I’m advocating it) I’m sure that we would be more in-line with the other states.

  22. Atlantaman, the reason some states have such low SAT participation is that the state schools (where most students attend) use the ACT instead of the SAT. But as you can see in my previous comment, those states have low SAT participation but high ACT participation.

    North Dakota is a good example. Less than 10% of the state takes the SAT (the so called highest of high achievers) and they come in at the top of the charts. North Dakota, however, has 80% participation in the ACT, and they rank #30 of all of the ACT states – Georgia is near the bottom even though only 30% of the state took the test.

    Let’s take Tennessee as another example. A whopping 93% of the state takes the ACT, and they came in at 35th on the charts. So yeah, I think the whole “everyone takes the test” thing has been put into a new perspective.

  23. Jeff says:

    Mike (the right wing authoritarian who doesn’t believe in freedom). Conservatives have been hostile to education. Why is it always about political ideology with you? Democrats don’t use logic? Where did that come from…Fox News? Both sides have the strengths and weaknesses. Conservatives are not the best at everything, especially domestic policy. Look at No child left behind, or small government, or the attempt to abolish the Dept. of Education, or trying to sell a privatizing social security program, or trying to abolish the teaching of biological science (evolution in particular), the list goes on. Have you ever heard of Barry Goldwater? read his books, and get some sense. With your labeling democrats as liberals (as if liberalism was a bad thing..read the declaration of independence or the constitution…i am sure you have heard of those) I can assume that you are part of the Republican party that has successfully divided our country at a time when it needs to united the most. Let me reassure you, we “libs” welcome all opinions with respect, but you should not disregard someone’s opinions because they do not have the same mind frame; it is not only this that has plagued the State of Georgia, but the country as a whole, but it is the keystone of irresponsible government.

  24. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I think Bush should force everyone to take the damn tests 🙂 Then are true avg would prevail.


    I like the ACT much better. How do we compare there? Anyone seen the sats? I know I scored much higher on the ACT than the SAT. I believe something like 29, I would have to pull out that file and look to be sure though.

  25. Hey Brian,
    Check my previous comments for some ACT info.

    Executive Summary:
    In 2006, just like in 2005, Georgia students who take the ACT rank 46th of the 51 states (including DC). We are below the national average.

    Unlike the SAT, which almost all Georgia students take, only 30% of students take the ACT. So we can avoid the refrain of “everyone takes it”. Even on a test that not everyone takes, we still rank near the bottom. So that should settle some of that.

  26. Bill Simon says:

    But…if this was Barnes who was going out of office, I know you, Chris, would be shouting platitudes from the highest rooftops, wouldn’t ya? 😉

  27. Mike says:

    Jeff (the pansy lib),

    1. I’m much more in line with the libertarians than modern day republicans. The GOP has betrayed conservative principals in allowing spending to run amok. I hate to say that Ted Stevens may be worse than Robert Bird. Bush has shown no backbone in standing up to Congress. It’s truly pathetic.

    2. Dept. of Ed.–It’s done wonders. Why would anyone ever want to abolish it?

    3. Social Security– You think this is a good program?

    4. Teaching evolution in schools–I’m with you there.

    5. The definition of liberal–Modern day libs have very little in common with the old time liberalism. The definition has changed. You think liberal icon JFK would stand a chance in today’s Democratic Party?

    6. Disregarding the opinion of others–I happily disregard the opinion of all socialist. Their opinion is not worthy of respect. It’s fine if you want to call me an elitist. It’s true. I’m better than you.

  28. Jeff says:

    Mike…you sound a lot more like a facist than a libertarian. It is funny how both vote Republican though. I am sure JFK would have been a great leader even today, the issues would be different, but the philosophies he governed by would not have to change.

  29. Jeff says:

    Liberalism has not changed, the Republican party has changed the way the conservative right thinks about the left. It looks like you fell for it too. It is ok though. Everybody can be tricked into giving support to an agenda that they really do not believe in. Some people oppose abortion because it is murder, but they support the death penalty and preemptive war.

  30. Jeff says:

    Provide an education system that is free for any child to enter, and resist a voucher system. Reagan campaign in 80 on a presidential promise to abolish the Dept. of Education because conservatives want to have a smaller government, but for some reason they consistently expand the bureaucracy.

  31. Jace Walden says:

    I personally don’t define “done wonders” as being last or nearly last in standardized testing when compared to every other industrialized nation…

    The Government pretty much has a monopoly on Education. What we need is a voucher system. People still pay their school taxes, but instead of the government mandating which schools those taxes go to, you get a voucher to take to the school of your choice (public or private). The schools who recieve fewer vouchers would be forced to either (1) Improve their curriculum to attract parents interests, or (2) Go out of buisiness. With choice, everyone wins.

  32. Jace Walden says:

    Education is not “one size fits all”. And our school system is the LAST place a government bureaucracy needs to insert itself. Look at Katrina. Prime example of what happens when you have a slow-moving government agency in charge of something. Well, our education system has been under assault by a Hurricane Force of government inadequacy ever since the creation of the DOE.

    Get the government out of our schools.

  33. Jeff says:

    The thing is, the voucher system has been sold to the “right” as a means of bringing competition into the education system. Not true. All it is going to do is give a $2500-$5000 off coupon to the rich and some upper middle class. Do you not understand that private schools (which are about 85% religious) can reject admission to anyone for any reason…you can be rejected for being in a wheelchair, or being Jewish, Black, White, Asian, Muslim, Christian. Not tax money will never go to a school that indoctrinates any particular religion. Nor will I support discrimination. A voucher system will do nothing for the common American, the “sub” common American, and many elites.

  34. Mike says:

    Jace-Sarcasm is not always evident in print. The DOE is a miserable failure.

    Jeff–You nailed me. I’m just a freedom loving facist. You may want to study up a bit. Facism is leans to the left rather than the right.

  35. Mike says:

    About vouchers. As Jace said, the government has a monopoly. Monopolies bite. Sit back and watch non-religous for-profit schools spring up to compete for those dollars. It’s common sense(pardon the pun).

    Voucher foes complain that vouchers will take money away from public education. I’m pulling these numbers out of my arse, but I imagine they are fairly close; The average public school spends about 10-11k per year per student. If we issure vouchers to students of 5-6k each, it appears that the public school comes out ahead.

    By the way Jeff, those “sub” common Americans that you appear to champion support vouchers. I’m sure that you and our benevolent govt. know what’s best for “those people”.

  36. Jace Walden says:

    I think the biggest problem with vouchers right now is that most people really don’t understand how a voucher system would work. There are a lot of misconceptions, and voucher supports really aren’t vocal enough. I can only fault voucher supporters like myself for not getting out there and pushing vouchers harder.

  37. Jace Walden says:


    I see your point, but I think your faith is misplaced. Yes, the voucher system has set backs. It’s like they say, we love choice until someone makes a choice we don’t like. I.E. Charter schools that teach racism and separatism like that school in California (I think it’s California). No one wants their money going to a place like that anymore than you want your money going to a “religious institution”.

    Here’s where Capitalism comes in. Under the voucher system, the primary mission of the school becomes to stay in business by providing the BEST education. I would argue that in most of our public schools, the primary mission is to baby sit kids while trying to force-feed them some “one size fits all” homogenized curriculum while keeping the U.S. at the bottom of the industrialized world.

    You have to assume that individuals are not stupid. Anyone is going to want the BEST education for their money. Schools that focus on separatism and racism won’t be able to last. Schools that focus too much on religious conversion rather than practical education won’t last. Just like business, the schools that can provide the best for the least will thrive and those who can’t will be rightfully put out of the business of education our children.

    With choice, everyone wins.

  38. techtrack says:

    Word on the street is that you’ve been kicked out of Georgia Young Republicans for 3 years. What’s up with that?

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