A new state analysis shows that Springfield students have some of the lowest SAT scores in the state.
The data released is from the 2017-2018 school year and Springfield School Supt. Daniel Warwick told us that it's important to tell the story behind the numbers.
"We're disappointed in the results, but not surprised by the results," Warwick noted.
Warwick is reacting to findings by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that Springfield students have the third lowest SAT scores in the state.
That's based on data taken from more than 2,200 students that were tested.
"When you look at all the other urban centers like Springfield, we're testing more than three times more students," Warwick explained.
Warwick told Western Mass News that there's a larger sample because the district is paying for tenth graders to take the PSATs and for eleventh and twelfth graders to take the SATs - a fee that normally students' families are responsible for paying.
"A lot of our kids start in a community college. We think taking the SAT is a good experience for them and we want them to matriculate to a community college onto a four-year college," Warwick said.
For years, the cost of the test was covered by grants, but now it's covered by the district's general fund.
"For a lot of our kids, if we weren't paying for the SATs and PSATs and giving them during the school day, they'd never have the opportunity to take them because we have the highest poverty rate with Holyoke," Warwick noted.
Warwick recognized that the district has work to do in improving those scores, but that their primary focus the last six years has been increasing graduation rates and reducing drop-out rates.
"Our outcomes in that endeavor have been the best improve in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That's been our primary focus. We've made a lot of growth in that area and now, we need to work on our college-going outcomes as well," Warwick said.
Separate from the Springfield Public Schools, the Phoenix Academy Public Charter School in Springfield has the second lowest scores. That's based off data from the 17 students that were tested there last year.
To see how your school district fared, you can CLICK HERE.