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School Board Okays Common Core Review And Eliminating SAGE Test In High School

The Utah State School Board voted Friday to support Governor Gary Herbert’s call to again review the Common Core education standards and eliminate end-of-year SAGE tests in high school.

Mark Peterson is a spokesperson for the Utah State Office of Education. He says there is a perception that teachers and students are spending too much time on the three-year-old, computer-adaptive SAGE test.

“And there is an additional problem, that because those tests don’t count toward student grades, by law they can’t, that students aren’t taking them seriously,” Peterson says.

Federal law requires students take an end-of-year test at least once in high school.  So Peterson says the board is looking at using the ACT to fulfill that requirement.

“Which is not as time-consuming as SAGE and has real-life consequences,” Peterson says. “That is do you get into the college of your choice or not?”

That change requires approval from the state legislature. Governor Herbert suggested lawmakers could address the issue during a special session of the legislature scheduled next week. It will be up to legislative leaders to decide.

The board also agreed on Friday to take another look at the language arts and math Common Core standards to see if they need to be revised or replaced. They’ve asked the state legislature for one-time funding for the review.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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