Today, the Utah State Office of Education released the results of the SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) adaptive test in math, language arts, and science that Utah students participated in last spring. This assessment is a computer adaptive test with rigorous interactive questions. This was a substantial change from the criterion-referenced tests given in the past. The SAGE assessment is aligned with post high school readiness expectations and standards. It is not a surprise that with this change, we experienced a decrease in student proficiency percentages across the state including our schools in Juab School District. The definition of proficiency has moved from mastery of content to on track for college and career readiness. Our students are not learning less, and our teachers are not teaching less. The bar has been set higher for our students, and we must help them reach their potential. We now have the baseline to better prepare our students with the skills necessary to reach their college and career goals.
There has been a lot of media attention to this and the impact the new test results may have on school grading in Utah. It is likely that many schools in Utah including our own will be labeled with low grades as school accountability report cards are rolled out this winter. Juab School District has always maintained a high level of academic excellence. We will assess our performance and look for ways to continue to improve and maintain our students' educational experience. I expect our students to continue to achieve in all aspects at a high level. To meet these new higher standards, it will take our collective strengths as parents, educators, and community members to support our children more than ever. We are planning to share individual student report cards with parents at our upcoming parent-teacher conferences in both elementary and secondary schools. If parents would like to obtain their student's report card before parent-teacher conference, they are welcome to pick up a hard copy at their school. I encourage parents to visit with their student's teachers and their school's principal to help them understand the information that is on the report card. I am confident that together we are up to the challenge to prepare our children for the future. The public can view SAGE results at:
"Commitment to Excellence"