The Utah State Office of Education has released the results of the new Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or SAGE, testing and proficiency numbers are quite low.
According to the SAGE data, less than half of the state is proficient in Math, Language Arts, and Science. The results are based on new computer adaptive testing that students across the state take at the end of the year. The results are worse than what previous testing methods had shown, but State Office of Education Associate Superintendent Judy Park says that kind of comparison shouldn’t be made.
“You’re comparing two things that are so very different," she says. "It’s like looking at the time it takes a student to run and the time it takes a student to swim and trying to make a comparison between those two times.”
The old tests were multiple-choice. Under the new test, students are expected to be able to use their critical thinking to answer questions in a variety of methods including open answer, drag-and-drop, and long response. The new test also adapts to the students performance by giving students who are struggling easier questions and those who are doing well harder ones.
The Ogden School District performed among the worst with only 28 percent of its students proficient in Language Arts, 20 percent in Math and 27 percent in Science.
Sandy Coroles is the Assistant Superintendent of the Ogden School District. She says while she and others are disappointed with the results, the next step is to dig deep into the data.
“We’re going to identify kids, individual kids, by skill and look at where the deficits are and start progress monitoring our kids so that we don’t wait until the very end to see what the results are,” she says.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Cache County School District performed among the best with 55 percent of its students proficient in Language Arts, 57 percent in Math, and 59 percent in Science.