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2008 Tuolumne County Profile – Students Seeking Higher Education (Part 13)

Sonora, CA — Quality of Basic Education; High School Student Seeking Higher Education is the 13th in our series reviewing the Sonora Area Foundation´s Tuolumne County Profile – Community Indicators Project.

Why is this important?

The percentage of high school students scoring above average on college entrance exams and aspiring to higher education is important to Tuolumne County residents. Young people with a post-secondary education perform better in today´s competitive environment of knowledge-based, high technology industries. Taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the standard college entrance exam, measures educational aspiration. Low literacy skills are linked to many social ills such as increased health care costs and increased crime.20

What is the measure?

The SAT is the most widely required 4-year college/university exam for admission and scholarship eligibility. The three-hour exam consists of sections measuring verbal (reading comprehension and vocabulary), mathematical and writing skills. Scores range from 200 to 800 in each section with the average score approximately 500 for each section.

How are we doing?

Over the past three years, the percentage of Tuolumne County high school students taking the SAT rose gradually. However, a gap still exists between the county and the state. This may indicate that some students, by not taking the test, could be limiting their choices about future careers.

Students in Tuolumne County continue to score higher than state averages in verbal and writing; but in 2006-07 fell below the state average in mathematics.

Click Community Indicators Project for a review of the entire 2008 Tuolumne County Profile.

Written by Bill Johnson