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Small SAT turnout puzzles educators

Gary Moskowitz

The fact that only 216 Glendale High School students took the

Scholastic Assessment Test last fall has district officials wondering

what went wrong.

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The number of Glendale High seniors who took the college entrance

exam in fall 2001 dropped by 114 from the previous year, when 330

students took the exam.

Reports show 49% of the school’s seniors took the SAT in 2000-01,

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and 36% took the exam in 2001-02, according to Deputy Supt. Joann

Merrick.

“I don’t want to minimize this, because the drop is on our radar

screen. If there is a trend developing, we will have to dig deeper to

fix it,” Merrick said.

District reports show that numbers of test takers rose by four at

Crescenta Valley High School and by 72 at Clark Magnet High School.

The number of test takers at Hoover High School dropped by 22.

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Glendale High Co-principal Mike Livingston said a slightly lower

enrollment could have been a factor.

But Glendale High’s student population dropped only slightly, from

3,363 in 2000-01 to 3,338 in 2001-02, according to district reports.

“We’re just not real sure what happened. I am dumbfounded, because

we encourage kids to take the SAT,” Livingston said. “We did have a

lot of students who qualified for state schools, but many chose to go

to [Glendale Community College] or other community colleges for their

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first two years instead.”

Assistant Principal Michele Doll said the drop might have been the

result of more students taking the ACT college entrance exam instead

of the SAT. Glendale High counselors encouraged students to take the

ACT in 2001-02, Doll said.

The ACT plays a bigger role in admission into East Coast and

Midwest colleges and universities, but the California State

University system does accept both the SAT and the ACT, Doll said.

“We have career and counseling centers that post information on

the test and six counselors who go into classrooms regularly,” Doll

said. “We have seen higher test scores on the [California High School

Exit Exam] and [Advanced Placement] course exams.”


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