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Ogden School District scores below state average on SAGE exam, results show

Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-28 00:01:19-04

OGDEN, Utah -- The test scores are out and the numbers are not good. Especially for Ogden School District who hit the bottom of the list in the state.

“Disappointed? Maybe a little but excited because now we have our data that we have been waiting for. We can use it and make a plan and go forward,” said Sandy Coroles, assistant superintendent of Ogden School District.

Ogden School District was well below the state's average on the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence exam. Students fell behind by  13.6 percent language arts, 18.4 percent in math and 16.9 percent in science. But district officials, like the rest of the state, expected the scores to be low the first time around.

“It's a different test. We've actually created some interim assessments that are similar and that's why it wasn't a surprise because the results from our interims were similar to the SAGE,” Coroles said.

Fourteen of Ogden’s 20 schools are Title 1, meaning many of its students come from low-income families. But the district says they're not blaming that for the low test scores.

“We're not going to make any excuses and we know we can do it because we know many Title 1 schools have done it,” Coroles said.

And they have a school in their district to prove it. Horace Mann Elementary School, a Title 1 school, scored above the state average.

“When I saw the overall scores I was a little disheartened at the total averages. I was surprised. But when I saw our scores I was really happy at what we accomplished,” said Shawn Hafey-Francke a fifth-grade teacher at Horace Mann Elementary.

Hafey-Francke has been teaching for 14 years. He said although his students scored well on the SAGE test in comparison to other schools, there's a lot of room for improvement.

“It was about half of what I would do in the normal testing that we had. In that respect it's disappointing but it definitely shows we need to teach at a higher rigor,” Hafey-Francke said.