Most Davis elementaries below average in test scores

Nov 30 2012 - 3:24pm

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Davis School District logo
Davis School District logo

FARMINGTON -- The new Utah Comprehensive Accountability System shows the majority of Davis School District's elementary schools have work to do to meet the state's average.

On Thursday, Dr. Logan Toone, the district's assessment, research and evaluation director met with media to explain the scores. Those UCAS scores were held for release until Friday morning.

Of the district's 59 elementary schools, 39 scored below the state average of 435. Of the district's 16 junior high schools, seven were below the state average of 435. All of the district's high schools scored above the state's average of 398.

Overall, each school, elementary and secondary, have the potential to score 600 points on the UCAS test.

The UCAS replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress provisions, which was part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The AYP scored schools with a "yes" or a "no" in 40 different categories of achievement. One "no" in any of the subcategories meant the school did not meet AYP, Toone said.

In June, the Department of Education granted Utah's request for a waiver to key parts of the act. Utah is not the only state that was granted a waiver, Toone said.

"This system is better than AYP, but it's not perfect," Toone said.

In exchange for the waiver, Utah, like the other states, promised to create its own plan to hold educators accountable.

"Every state is different, and that is good because it is customized to what we do in the state of Utah," Toone said.

Students are now scored on achievement as well as growth. Elementary and junior high school students are tested on language arts, math, science and a direct writing assessment. High school students are tested on language arts, math, science and graduation.

Now students are measured in growth by matching them to their academic peers, Toone said.

Title I schools will still receive federal help through the state and additional resources will be available to the schools scoring in the bottom 15 percent.

Toone also pointed out there is only so much a school can do to help a student. Families also have to be willing to help students succeed.

Many of the schools have tutors, community learning centers, offer after- and before-school programs, as well as other helps for families.

"We can't change a student's home life," Toone said.

The scores for all the school districts are available at www.schools.utah.gov, click on PSD Gateway and follow the links.

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