SAT Scores, Participation Increase in City High Schools

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday visited one of the many schools that opened during his three-term tenure to tout higher test scores and participation rates among high school students. 

SAT scores in the city increased eight points from last year, while scores in the state remained flat and were down three points nationwide, according to College Board figures.

Speaking at the Bedford Academy High School in Brooklyn, the mayor said numbers were up across all racial and ethnic groups. The average overall SAT score of black students increased by seven points, while the score for Hispanic students increased 14 points.

“We’ve shown how you can improve a major, large system with all of attributes and disadvantages and resources and problems any other city has,” he said.

In 2002, about 17,000 students took one or more AP exams. During the 2012-2013 school year, the number of students who took an exam more than doubled to 35,600.

“A bigger pool should, we think, mean lower scores, but it didn’t because it shows that we’re doing something right,” Bloomberg said.

At Bedford Academy, with an enrollment of about 370 students, the number of seniors taking the SAT exam quadrupled last year, and scores increased by 14 points. Senior Zuhura Debrio, 17, said she's taking four AP classes this year and has been attending the school’s mandatory test preparation classes. 

“It’s really stressful sometimes” Debrio said. “But at the end of the day, it’s really worth it because I’ll be college-ready.”