Bel Air area schools among Harford's best on SAT

C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air posted the top composite Scholastic Aptitude Test score in the 2011-12 school year, as all three greater Bel Air area schools - CMW, Bel Air High and Patterson Mill High - finished in the top five among Harford's 10 public high schools, as did Fallston and North Harford.

According to SAT averages for 2011-12 released by Harford County Public Schools, the 207 C. Milton Wright students who took the SAT last school year had an average composite score of more than 1,600 for the test's three components: critical reading, mathematics and writing.

CMW's composite average was the only one in the county to exceed 1,600. The highest score that can be earned on the SAT's three components is 2,400.

CMW was also the only public high school in the county where the 2012 test takers averaged 500 or better on each of the three components.

The top five Harford public high schools in SAT composite in 2012 were: C. Milton Wright, 1,606; North Harford, 1,549; Bel Air, 1,540; Fallston, 1,530; and Patterson Mill, 1,518. These also the only schools where the composite average exceeded 1,500.

Those five schools have ranked in the top five in SAT composite average for the past three school years, according to figures from the school system. Bel Air High had the top countywide average of 1,577 in 2011, while Patterson Mill ranked first in 2010 with an average of 1,593.

Although the CMW composite average improved 42 points from 2011 to 2012, North Harford's 62-point gain topped the county's public high schools last year. Conversely, Bel Air's 37-point decline was also the county's biggest.

Composite SAT score averages for Harford's other five high schools in 2012 were: Havre de Grace, 1,469; Aberdeen, 1,462; Harford Tech, 1,450; Edgewood, 1,335; and Joppatowne, 1,321.

According to the school system, C. Milton Wright's test takers had the best average score countywide on the reading component, 537; on the math component, 553; and on the writing component, 516, giving the school a clean sweep. CWM also was the only county school where the reading average exceeded 500.

The countywide SAT composite in 2012 was 1,500, while the Maryland and U.S. composite averages were 1,487 and 1,498, respectively.

Bel Air High had the highest number of test takers last school year, 245; while Havre de Grace had the fewest, 63.

Only Bel Air, CMW and Fallston, with 205, had more than 200 students testing. Patterson Mill, 179; North Harford, 177; and Aberdeen, 171, had the next highest testing participation, followed by Harford Tech, 131; Edgewood, 113; Joppatowne, 92; and Havre de Grace.

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