Davis County students who took the Stanford Achievement Test scored considerably above the national average in reading, math, science and social science.

But, like many of their counterparts statewide, they scored below the national norm in language.Utah students in fifth, eighth and 11th grades took the SAT tests this fall as part of a legislatively mandated school accountability program. The results will be presented to the Legislature in January.

In the Davis District, students generally fared well in the test, sometimes better than expected, said Superintendent Rich Kendell.

With the exception of two SAT categories at the elementary level, Davis students scored at or above the state averages.

"These scores indicate that a lot of things are right in Davis County."

Here's a summary of the Davis results. The national average percentile in all categories is 50, and the state averages appear here in parentheses:

Fifth grade. The "basic battery" score, or the average of the reading, math and language test results, was in the 52nd percentile, meaning the Davis students scored more questions correctly than 52 percent of the students tested nationally. (The state average is 53.) In reading, Davis fifth-graders scored 55 (state average 53); in math 57 ; in language 45 ; in science 56 ; and in social science 55 .

Eighth grade. Davis County eighth-graders scored in the 56th percentile in the basic battery, five points better than the state average of 51. The junior-high students scored 59 in reading (state average 55); 58 in math ; 48 in language ; 58 in science ; and 54 in social science .

11th grade. Eleventh-grade students scored 55 in the basic battery, two points better than the state average. In reading, the students scored 61 (state average is 58); in math 54 ; in language 45 ; in science 60 ; and in social science 56 .

Kendell said he is pleased with the high scores at all grade levels in mathematics, which he noted is becoming increasingly important in today's technology-focused society.

"These (math) scores tell me we may be doing better than we thought."

District officials are not greatly concerned about the low language scores but said they will evaluate the testing and consult regularly with the principals and curriculum directors to see where improvements need to be made.

The tests can also be used to point out specific problem spots in the district. For example, the State Office of Education, using socioeconomic data, predicted a range within which each school would score in each SAT category, so the district can see how schools matched up to their expectations.

All six high schools scored within the predicted range in each category.

Of the district's 12 junior high schools, nine were within the predicted ranges. North Davis and Syracuse junior high schools scored below predicted ranges in two categories, while Sunset scored below expectations in one category.

At the elementary level, 25 of the district's 46 schools scored within the predicted ranges. Five schools scored below expectations in one category. Fourteen scored below predictions in two to five categories; and two schools - Clinton and Doxey - scored below predicted ranges in all categories.

Kendell cautioned, however, that the SAT is only one of many ways to judge a student, a school or a district.

"There are a host of other ways of evaluating our performance . . . Where are the scores of the gifted performing artists we have? . . . What about the group in speech and debate or in band? . . . Those kinds of measures aren't reported.

"These (SAT) scores are valuable. They just don't tell the whole story."

A 19-page report on the Davis test scores - which includes the results of other testing programs - is available to anyone free of charge by calling 451-1260.

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(ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

Davis scores

Davis Statewide

5th grade 52 53

8th grade 56 51

11th grade 55 53