On the question of whether Texas SAT scores have improved under the new accountability system, I have lifted the following information from the Texas Education Agency's Web site:
The average SAT score in Texas in 1998 was 995, the same as the previous year, even though historic numbers of Texas high-school seniors took the SAT in 1998. Fifty-one percent of Texas graduating seniors took the test, which falls somewhere in the middle in a comparison of the percentage of SAT-tested students from other states.
The national average was 1,017, so we had a 22-point gap. In 1987, the gap between Texas scores and the national average was 31 points.
Some other claims made: 1) The number of minorities in Texas taking the SAT has grown at a higher rate than the rest of the country; and 2) "Almost all Texas SAT scores across ethnic groups continued improving more than scores nationally from 1987-1998." Which I take to mean that if you compared scores for say, Hispanic seniors in Texas with Hispanics in California, our guys have realized more gains in the last decade.
Patti Kilday Hart