Texas Education Agency reports KISD SAT participation rate up to 54.6 percent

By Chris McGuinness

Killeen Daily Herald

The number of high school seniors in the Killeen Independent School District who take the SAT Reasoning Test is growing, thanks in part to the district’s effort to encourage students to think about their post-graduation plans.

The number of KISD seniors who took the SAT rose from 46.3 percent for the 2007-08 school year to 47.8 in 2009-10, said Susan Buckley, KISD director of secondary curriculum and professional development.

Buckley said the participation rate for the 2010-11 school year shot up to 62.7 percent, and was the result of the district focusing on raising awareness about college readiness.

“If the students are trying to take the test, that indicates to us that they are looking to the future and want to go to a community or four-year college,” she said. “We try to keep the idea of planning ahead and college at the forefront of their minds as they get closer to graduation.”

Buckley said KISD partners with Central Texas College to provide information sessions, counseling and other assistance to students interested in going to college.

A report recently released by the Texas Education Agency provided detailed data on the number of 2010 public high school graduates at the state, district and school-site level who took college admissions tests like the SAT.

Out of the KISD high schools listed in the report, Killeen High School had the highest participation rate at 68.1 percent. Harker Heights High School came in slightly behind with a 66.7 percent participation rate.

Statewide, more than 123,000 students in the graduating class of 2010 took the SAT, according to the report, giving the state a total participation rate of 48 percent. This was slightly higher than the 47 percent participation rate recorded by the TEA for the class of 2009.

Texas’ SAT participation rate was higher than the national average by little more than 1 percent.

According to the report, state participation rates have remained relatively flat over the past 10 years. In 2000, the statewide SAT participation rate was 50 percent. Though the number of students taking the exam grew from 96,516 to 123,154 in that time period, the total number of graduates rose from 192,943 in 2000 to 254,983.

SAT participation rates

According to the Texas Education Agency, the high school SAT participation rate for the graduating class of 2010 by district are:

Belton — 47.4 percent

Copperas Cove — 53.7 percent

Gatesville — 16.2 percent

Lampasas — 53.4 percent

Killeen — 54.6 percent