State Board to Recommend Legislative Changes to Utah’s Assessment and Accountability Systems

The Utah State Board of Education will recommend considerable changes for the state’s assessment and accountability system to the Utah Legislature later this month, after voting Friday to affirm a framework proposal made by a Board task force.

The Board was asked by the Education Interim Committee to bring recommendations to the committee’s Sept. 20 meeting. Following that presentation, the Board will gather feedback from stakeholders throughout Utah and review that feedback during its November meeting. Later that month, the Board intends to present potential legislation for adoption as an Education Interim Committee bill for the 2017 General Session.

“We look forward to working with the Legislature and other stakeholders to develop a meaningful and robust assessment and accountability system that is both aligned with the State Board of Education’s strategic priorities and better informs educators and parents on student performance,” said Accountability Task Force Chair and State Board Member Brittney Cummins.

Recommendations will include:

  • Eliminating SAGE for grades 9-12, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, and using ACT Aspire for grades 9 and 10, and adding ACT Writing to the regular 11th-grade ACT offering;
  • Adding metrics to the School Grading Act for high schools, including advanced course offerings, CTE certificates, combined GPA on core courses, improvements for at-risk populations, and progress for English learner students;
  • Adding metrics to the School Grading Act for elementary schools, including grades 1-3 reading progress, progress for English learner students, and indicators that may include teacher absenteeism and student suspension rates;
  • Eliminating SAGE writing for all but grades 5 and 8 and putting a 50-minute time limit on those assessments; and
  • Suspending the designation of turnaround schools for one year to allow for transition.