On the KKAT 860 AM Red Meat Radio program Saturday morning, Utah senators Stephenson and Osmond called on the State Board of Education to suspend the Utah SAGE Testing System and replace it with an established, proven testing solution, such as the Northwest Evaluators Association testing system, until a more permanent solution can be developed.
In its short history, our Utah SAGE Testing has provoked statewide frustration from students, parents, and many educators.
"Testing and assessment are very important in education, but our Utah SAGE system has become a point of political contention and frustration for students, parents, and many educators," said Senator Osmond (R-South Jordan). "Preparing for state-mandated SAGE testing consumes enormous amounts of instructional time and greatly limits access to computer labs for other learning purposes. The SAGE tool has also also been plagued with technical challenges causing testing delays and outages. Out of respect for parents, students and teachers, it's time to build a better path. Let's empower our local schools to use a proven tool, such as NWEA, as their core assessment tool to guide student learning.
NWEA is a proven nationally-normed test, with a currently functioning infrastructure that is used in many other states. It is a formative assessment that charts student progress at several points in the school year. This system was in place in several districts through the state of Utah, and was the basis for our original computer adaptive testing proposals.
Senator Howard Stephenson (R-Draper) said, "A summative test, like SAGE, takes in a year's worth of learning at the very end and measures what you canremember. It imposes an onerous burden on student and teacher alike. A formative test, like NWEA, develops competency along the way. Instead of aless-helpful post-course autopsy, let's move to a proven testing that helps teachersand students along the way."
Stephenson and Osmond recommended that the SAGE suspension be effective for the 2015-2016 school year.