Percent of Spokane High School Seniors Taking the SAT Exam

SAT exam scores are required for application to most 4-year college programs.

The percent of Spokane area high school seniors taking the SAT exam – and hence likely to be college bound – has continued its multi-year collapse.  57% of all Washington high school seniors took the SAT last year but in Spokane, the total is 36%.

This may solve the mystery as to the excitement over more low wage warehouse worker and call center jobs opening in Spokane:   that’s what the workforce here is qualified to do. But seriously, shouldn’t we be frightened of this trend? What steps could be undertaken to address this?

The data comes from the Community Indicators of Spokane web site and is updated from that previously shown on this blog.

Related: 80% to 92% of local community college students need to take remedial math. That compares to 60% nationally.

Updated January 2014:

Follow the line from left to right – the percent of Seniors taking the SAT has gone up nicely, albeit, still lagging the state as a whole (green line).


Spokane Poverty Rates

While poverty has been decreasing in Washington State, in recent years Spokane County’s the poverty rate has been increasing. There is a relationship between high school drop out rates and poverty – also see “1 in 3 Spokane High School Students Drop Out“.

In these charts, the yellow line corresponds to the City of Spokane, the red line to the County, and the dark blue line corresponds to Washington State.

Data Source: Community Indicators of Spokane

Zoom in on the most recent years to highlight the problem:

Poverty and school drop out rates are related. Some interesting comments from retiring Community Colleges of Spokane Chancellor Dr. Gary Livingston, here, in the Spokesman-Review newspaper (July 26, 2010):

We have to invest both in the students who are going through now – who didn’t come in ready to learn – and have to do it at a preschool level. So we’ll have to pay twice for a while, to help prepare students better. The (problem of not being ready for school) is a significant reflection of poverty in this area. And candidly, our community is getting poorer, not wealthier.

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