Students in the Oxnard Union High School District scored higher last school year on both the math and verbal portions of the Scholastic Aptitude Test than district students did the previous year, a report released Monday shows.
And 30% of the district's graduating students took the test--more than in the previous seven years that the district has tracked SAT scores.
The gains contrast with declines in SAT scores both nationally and in California. In SAT results released last month, scores at most other Ventura County school districts also improved.
Students in Oxnard's five regular high schools scored an average of 481 points in math, an increase of six points over the previous year. On the verbal portion of the test, scores averaged 424 points, one point higher than the previous year's average, the report shows. Frontier Continuation High School was not included in the report.
On the verbal portion of the test, Oxnard students scored nine points above the state average and two points higher than the national average. In math, Oxnard scores rose by six points over the previous year, but were still one point below the state average. However, math scores were seven points above the national average.
In 1984, 28% of district students took the SAT, but that percentage dropped to 23% in 1989. Last school year, however, the numbers had increased to 30%.
"Generally, the more students taking the SAT, the lower the mean average scores," the report said. "It is important to note that the opposite occurred for district scores in 1990-91. Scores increased as more students took the test. During this same period, California and national SAT scores declined."
District officials have credited teacher training and efforts to increase the number of students in college preparation courses with gains on standardized tests. Board members are scheduled to discuss the SAT results at Wednesday's school board meeting.