Utah education board ends SAGE testing

Utah education board ends SAGE testing

(KUTV)- The Utah State Board of Education announced the approved and new testing contract with Pearson which offers the Utah Aspire Plus test to students in grades 9 and 10 beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

"Today’s approval marks the completion of extensive searches to secure new providers for the statewide assessments in grades 3-10 in public schools," the board said.

Pearson and Questar were selected for testing after the existing contract for SAGE expired. According to the board, legislation both requires and funds a standards assessment for grades 3-8 and a high school assessment for grades 9 and 10. Students in grade 11 will continue taking the ACT.

Both Utah Aspire Plus and RISE will allow for the continued calculation of Student Growth Percentiles and student achievement. Board members believe the continuity will provide important trend data to educators, parents, and students that will continue to be used to track individual student growth and school accountability.

“Utah Aspire Plus is an innovative assessment solution that is unique to Utah and a first-of-its-kind,” Darin Nielsen, USBE assistant superintendent of student learning, said. “It will give students an experience similar to that of taking the ACT by providing them with a score predictive of their college readiness, and it will also support the continued instructional emphasis on the Utah Core Standards.”

The test offers a new user interface and slightly different functionality, but will maintain Utah item bank questions and trend data obtained through SAGE testing over the past five years. RISE will be completely aligned with Utah standards, as required by law. RISE will also continue to be criterion referenced and use the same performance level descriptors and similar scale scores.

While the test will continue to be delivered online, students and educators will experience a new interface. One major change includes the test’s new multistage adaptive functionality. This will allow students full navigation – backward, forward, review, and revise – within each stage or test section.

Additionally, RISE will include new and enhanced reports available for the individual student and educator. Writing has also been removed from the assessment for all grades except fifth and eighth, in which students will respond to a single prompt and receive a separate score.

“The process that led to these new assessments focused on the best interest of Utah parents, students, and educators. It was conducted in accordance with procurement laws and has ended with two exceptional vendors that we look forward to working with,” USBE Chair Mark Huntsman said. “I am confident these tests will require minimal transitions in our schools and improved readiness in our students."

Additional information about RISE and Utah Aspire Plus is available at on the Assessment section page at schools.utah.gov.

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