South Dakota students score high on new state test

South Dakota students score high on new state test This spring, approximately 75,000 South Dakota students, in grades three through eight and grade 11, took the new Stanford 10 Abbreviated Achievement Test. The SAT 10 AB is part of the new Dakota STEP assessment system that South Dakota has established in order to meet No Child Left Behind Act requirements. The norm-referenced achievement test has replaced the SAT 9, which schools had been using the past five years.

The SAT 10 AB is a test based on a national consensus curriculum and is not used to determine state accountability. Rather, the assessment is a snapshot of how South Dakota students are doing in language arts, math, reading, science and social science. Because this is the first year the SAT 10 AB has been administered, the data establishes a new baseline for future comparisons.

All South Dakota scores were above the national average percentile rank of 50 except for grade four's language arts score of a 48 percentile rank. The highest scoring grades were:

* Grade 7 in language arts, with a 64 percentile rank.

* Grade 11 in math, with a 70 percentile rank.

* Grade 11 in reading, with a 72 percentile rank.

* Grade 11 in science, with a 71 percentile rank.

* Grade five in social science, with a 71 percentile rank.

Consistent with past assessments is the fact that, overall, South Dakota students continue to score highest in math, science and social studies. Secretary of the Department of Education said, "The SAT 10 provides state and local schools with another indicator of student's academic progress. I am pleased with the scores in general and specifically with the improved scores of our 11th grade students in the state."

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