Shelton school district average SAT scores remain nearly unchanged

Photo of Brian Gioiele
The garden at Shelton High School, recently redesigned by member of the Olde Ripton Garden Club.

The garden at Shelton High School, recently redesigned by member of the Olde Ripton Garden Club.

Contributed photo

Of the 360 Shelton High School students who took the 2019 SAT test this past spring, 256 — 71.1 percent — met or exceeded the goal in English Language Arts, and 183 — 50.9 percent — did the same in math.

The average score for ELA was 535 out of a possible 800; the average score for math was 529. Overall, 98 percent of the eligible students took the SAT this past school year. This year’s scores were nearly identical with those in 2018 when the district averages were 536 in ELA and 527 in math.

“We are encouraged that our district scored higher than the state average,” said Assistant Principal Ken Saranich, noting that the state averages in ELA and math are 515 and 501, respectively. “We did some increases on our end which is positive, but our next step is to closely examine how we stack up with districts with the same resources as Shelton and then set goals.”

The breakdown of how students performed on the 2019 test is as follows:

English Language Arts

Level 1: goal not met — 39 — 10.8 percent.

Level 2: approaching goal — 65 — 18.1 percent.

Level 3: met goal — 189 — 52.5 percent.

Level 4: exceeded goal — 67 — 18.6 percent.


Level 1: goal not met — 55 — 15.3 percent.

Level 2: approaching goal — 122 — 33.9 percent.

Level 3: met goal — 132 — 36.7 percent.

Level 4: exceeded goal — 51 — 14.2 percent.


Statewide, the average score in language arts was 515. That is a point below last year and five points lower than in 2016 when school-based SAT testing began.

In math, the average score in 2019 was 501, two points below last year and a point higher than in 2016.

Still, state officials say there is some good news. Because the test now counts as a state accountability assessment, the average scores tell how many students are performing at grade level. In language arts, 62 percent of all students met or exceeded the goal while in math, just 41 percent did.

“What this tells us is that a solid majority of our students are meeting achievement benchmark standards,” said Ajit Gopalakrishnan, the chief performance officer for the state Department of Education. “A big chunk are meeting the standards.”

Many more need to meet the standards, he acknowledged, particularly in math, and particularly in high-needs groups, meaning students learning English, with disabilities, or who come from low-income families.

Some 36,916 juniors took the SAT in Connecticut public high schools in March or April. Of those, a larger chunk of the population is now in the high-needs category — 43 percent in 2019 compared with 38 percent in 2016.

In math, while the average score dipped, the percentage of black and Hispanic students meeting the grade level mark improved. The percentage of high-needs students reaching grade level improved slightly in both math and language arts.

Yet there remains a roughly 90-point gap between white students and students who are black, Hispanic or have high needs. The gap between those groups in language arts is roughly 100 points wide.

All the numbers may be viewed at

Linda Conner Lambeck contributed to this article.