SAT scores put Wilton on top

If you need something written, you might ask a Wilton High School student to do it.

Results of the SAT Reasoning Tests were released this week and the Wilton School District tied Weston to score first in the state in writing. In its district reference group, it finished first in writing (with Weston) and critical reading, and fourth in mathematics. That was good enough to put Wilton at the head of the pack.

In fact, after a quick review of statewide scores, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Timothy Canty said administration officials think Wilton is also at the top of the state in reading.

Out of a possible perfect score of 800 on each section of the college entrance exam, Wilton students in the class of 2012 averaged 596 in critical reading, 598 in math, and 608 in writing. Their cumulative mean score was 1,802 out of a possible 2,400.

Wilton was the only school in DRG-A — District Reference Group A, which includes Darien, New Canaan, Region 9 (Redding and Easton), Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton — to score over 1,800. DRG-A results were:

• New Canaan - 1,795,

• Weston - 1,794,

• Westport - 1,785,

• Darien - 1,776,

• Ridgefield - 1,721,

• Region 9 - 1,695.

Wilton's scores were very similar to those of 2011: 598 in critical reading, 610 in writing, and 597 in math for a cumulative score of 1,805.

Scores for WHS class of 2010 were 575 in critical reading, 593 in writing and 600 in math. The class of 2009's scores were: reading 585, writing 597 and math 603, ranking it third that year in the DRG.

"We're very pleased," Mr. Canty said of the SAT results. He said administrators look over three-year intervals to see if there are any trend lines.

"Every year there's a different set of students with a different test," he said. "We have to be very cautious comparing scores from one year to the next."

He said they also look closely at the scores of the schools in DRG-A. "That is the first place we look relative to an analysis compared from one year to the next," he said.

While "we always celebrate when we're at the top of the state," he said it is important to remember "these scores reflect just one performance metric of our arts and academic program."

He said the strength of these scores and Wilton's comparison with similar schools "speaks to the quality of the district and our school and most importantly to the quality of our teachers and the strong work they do."

In addition, he said, "We have outstanding students at Wilton High School. Academically they're extremely strong and highly motivated."

The three-part SAT is administered by the College Board and is used by colleges across the country in their admissions process.

Wilton's averages were significantly higher than both state and national averages. Statewide averages were 506 for reading, 512 for math, and 510 for writing.

Nationwide the average reading score was 496, 514 for math and 481 for writing. College Board officials said those results showed that only 43% of SAT takers in the class of 2012 are academically ready for college.

College Board President Gaston Caperton said the report should serve as a call to action. "Our nation's future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing," he said in a prepared statement.