Irving ISD officials knew it was a gamble when they put in measures to test as many of the district’s high school juniors as possible on the SAT. From paying for the college placement test to offering it during the school day, the district created the optimum environment. And then officials braced for the overall drop in the district’s scores because they were testing so many more students than in previous years. When the College Board program began in 2010, the scores did fall. But this spring, when a record 77 percent of the district’s high school students took the test and one campus, Singley Academy, posted a 100 percent participation rate, the average test scores jumped 15 points. The school district’s average scores were still lower than the statewide average. But Irving ISD students posted larger gains than statewide average scores, which dropped by two points over the previous year. School district administrators and board members said they were surprised by how quickly they saw progress in SAT performance. 
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