SAGE Test results indicate majority of Utah students not on track for college

Posted at 12:01 AM, Oct 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-27 17:23:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The numbers are in and they aren’t pretty.

A new statewide testing system indicates the majority of public school students in Utah are not on track for a college education.

The Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or SAGE, was created to test how students understand what they are learning under the new standards put in place under the Common Core initiative.

Results: Click here to see the SAGE test results for Utah students

Most states will have similar tests in place by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

In the first round of SAGE testing, 41.7 percent of Utah students were judged as proficient in Language Arts, 38.7 percent are proficient in Mathematics and 43.7 percent are proficient in Science.

The Utah State Office of Education, USOE, said they will make school and district results available on their website by 6 a.m. Monday. They provided results to the media in advance, which FOX 13 News has made available.

Click here to download the results as an Excel document: Utah State SAGE Results 2014

“This isn’t bad news, this is new news,” Associate Superintendent Judy Park said.

The results provided by the USOE come from tests conducted at the end of the last school year.

The USOE said they needed the extra time this year to “establish the baseline.”

Quiz: Would you pass the tests? Take a practice exam here.

“We brought in over 200 educators and stakeholders to look at all of the students results and determine what’s proficient and what’s not,” Park said.

They said future test results will be immediately available to educators, though individual student results will be given to parents by their child’s school or teacher.

“Our students are competing to get into colleges and universities all over the country. Our students are seeking jobs all over the world,” Park said, arguing for the importance of Utah students being judged by a national standard.

SAGE replaced the CRT, which was entirely multiple choice.

On the SAGE, a math question may require the student to make an accurate graph for a certain set of facts, where on the CRT the student would select the correct graph from four options.

Jo Ellen Shaeffer, Director of Assessment and Accountability, said parents should not be upset when they see low proficiency percentages at their local school.

“With the new standards and with the new assessments they will see fewer students actually being proficient, but take that in context with what they’re seeing at their school, with what they’re seeing at the district, and what they’re seeing statewide,” Shaeffer said.

Some parents will be in for a rude awakening.

An example: The Granite District scored an average of 28 percent proficient in Language Arts, 27.5 percent in Mathematics, and 28.1 percent in Science.

But parents who look at individual schools will see vast differences from one part of a district to the other.

South Kearns Elementary School in the Granite School district shows results of 11.2 percent in Language Arts, 19.1 percent in Mathematics, and 8.7 percent in Science.

Go to Morningside Elementary in the same district and the contrast is stark.They get 66.5 percent in Language Arts, 67.7 percent in Mathematics and 65 percent in Science.

Students’ individual scores will not be included in any of the public data. Districts and schools will have that information and will decide how to provide those results to parents and students.

Quiz: Would you pass the tests? Take a practice exam here to test yourself.