Friday, October 8, 2010
CCHS students earn high scores on SAT, AP, MCAS by Ginny Lamere
Principal Peter Badalament highlighted academic achievements earned by many Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) students when he spoke to the Regional School Committee (RSC) on September 29.
Two CCHS students were awarded National Merit Scholarships last year, Badalament said, while 11 others were Merit Finalists and 39 earned Letters of Commendation from the College Board. National Merit Scholarships are based on PSAT scores. “The median math SAT score is up 20 points over the last three years,” stated Badalament, rising from 630 to 650. The median reading SAT score has been constant at 610 over the last three years. The median writing SAT score rose from 610 to 620. The median of the combined scores of the three tests are roughly 300 points higher than the state average.
The Advanced Placement (AP) exams are graded on a five-point scale. Students pass the test with a score of “3” or above, and receive course credit at most colleges if they score a “4” or “5” on a test. Last spring, 181 CCHS students took a total of 321 AP exams, with 86% scoring a “4” or “5.” Badalament said that students were particularly strong in the areas of math and science. For instance, all 22 students who took the BC Calculus Exam scored a “5.” The number of students taking the test is also increasing; 152 students took AP exams in 2008.
Students can take AP exams in any subject, even if CCHS does not have a specific course for that exam, explained Badalament. According to Badalament, the courses given at CCHS provide “greater depth and deeper understanding of the topic than the AP curriculum.” He said, “There is a long-standing belief among the faculty that what they offer in Social Studies and English are better courses.” For instance, in the spring, 17 CCHS students took the AP English Literature and Composition Exam and 16 scored above “3.” He said, “We are strongly encouraging juniors to sit for the AP English exam at the end of the junior year.”
Students are required to pass the MCAS tests in English, math and science in order to receive a diploma at graduation. Badalament said that 100% of the 2010 graduating class received “proficient” or “advanced” in their MCAS English and math tests. All passed the MCAS science requirement.
Badalament added that 93% are going on to college, with 65% going to their first choice school and 19% going to their second choice. The CCHS graduation rate is 96.7%. The state bases this number on the number of ninth graders that finish high school in four years. “Our dropout rate tends to range from 0.5% to 1%.” The other 2% is due to students who move out of the state and can no longer be tracked. “Students completed over 10,000 hours of community service,” he told the RSC. Badalament said, “We are proud of all of our students’ achievements.” ∆
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