DOMENECH PROUD OF 64TH PERCENTILE AVERAGE SAT SCORE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: ARTHUR PURVES
DOMENECH PROUD OF 64TH PERCENTILE AVERAGE SAT SCORE -- THEN CALLS 64TH PERCENTILE "MADE UP" --
In response to a question from Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance president, Arthur G. Purves, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Daniel A. Domenech, agreed Wednesday night that he was proud of his school system's average SAT score, which is at the 64th percentile.
The exchange occurred during the question-and-answer period yesterday at the first of two Town Halls on the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, held at Luther Jackson Middle School. Dr. Domenech defended the 64th percentile because it put Fairfax County Public Schools above the 50th percentile, and therefore above the national average. When Mr. Purves followed up by asking Dr. Domenech if he was "proud" of the 64th percentile, Dr. Domenech said yes.
The "64th percentile" means that of the over one million students who took the SAT score last year, 36 percent scored higher than the average Fairfax County student.
Mr. Purves also asked Dr. Domenech why the school system does not publish the percentile of its average SAT scores. Dr. Domenech replied that the reason is because "You [Mr. Purves] made it up."
"If Dr. Domenech believes that the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance has incorrectly computed the percentile of the school system's average SAT score, then the school system should release the correct value," Mr. Purves said.
The 64th percentile was computed from the school system's average score of 1098 based on a conversion table on the College Board website, at www.collegeboard.org/sat/cbsenior/stats/stat001b.html. According to the College Board table, a score of 1100 corresponds to the 64th percentile.
At the Town Hall Mr. Purves distributed a Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance handout that showed the SAT percentiles and the SOL results for all county high schools. The results suggest that to pass all the SOL tests, the county's average SAT score would have to climb to near the 80th percentile. "I believe that Fairfax County students and teachers can do better than the 64th percentile," Mr. Purves said. "We're at the 64th percentile because before the SOL tests there were no consequences for low achievement. However, when schools focus on achievement, there can be a dramatic improvement for all students."