Utah Students Improve on Math and Science SAGE Tests

Utah public school students on average improved in mathematics and science and held steady in English language arts end-of-level tests in 2016, according to data released today by the Utah State Board of Education.

Results from the 2015-16 year show proficiency rates in math and science increased on average 1.9 percentage points to 46.5 percent and 48.7 percent, respectively. Proficiency rates in ELA remained on average at 44.1 percent, although gains were seen in lower grades.

“We are pleased to see that thousands more Utah students showed proficiency in the last school year. SAGE data provide educators with just one indicator among many in determining how to tailor instruction to best address students’ academic needs. Our goal is to continue moving in the right direction to ensure all Utah students show growth in these crucial subject areas,” said David Crandall, Chair of the Utah State Board of Education.

Differences in proficiency rates between genders remained relatively the same as previous school years. By race/ethnicity, all groups saw increases in proficiency rates in math and science. In ELA, proficiency rates for African American/Black students, Pacific Islanders, and White students decreased slightly while proficiency rates for American Indians, Asians and Hispanic/Latinos increased. Economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with disabilities all made increases in their overall proficiency rates.

In the 2015-16 school year, as a group, charter schools saw slightly lower proficiency rates than district schools. However, compared with district schools, charter schools made greater overall gains in math and science proficiency rates from the previous school year.

This marks the third year students in grades 3-11 have taken the computer-adaptive SAGE assessments. Students are assigned one of four results for each test: below, approaching, at, or highly proficient. Those who score in the latter two categories are counted as proficient.

SAGE results are combined with other metrics to produce the annual accountability reports and school grades, which will be released Sept. 15, 2016. Those data will include SAGE growth percentages, which were not available in today’s report.