SAGE testing concerns addressed by USOE


In May, more than 3,000 UEA members participated in an online survey and shared their experiences with SAGE testing. The UEA recently passed those survey results along to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE).

“Thank you for all of your feedback on the SAGE computer adaptive test,” said UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh. “Many members contacted me and shared personal experiences, frustrations and hopes about the SAGE test.”

“(Teacher) input was extremely valuable in understanding the problems and potential of the new tests for students and educators. Based on this feedback, UEA met with the Utah State Office of Education to discuss SAGE and request specific action,” said Gallagher-Fishbaugh.

In meetings with USOE, UEA representatives requested that the Utah State Board of Education address, correct or implement the following critical issues related to SAGE testing:

  • Technical glitches;
  • Technology infrastructure;
  • Accommodations for special education students;
  • Testing protocols;
  • Loss of instructional time required to administer assessments; and
  • Clear communication plan to engage educators

As part of the effort to keep educators more fully informed about SAGE and at the request of UEA, USOE Associate Superintendent Judy Park provided a letter to educators. The letter outlines corrections and changes that will be made to the test, the timeline for release of testing data and next steps in the SAGE development process.

“Thank you for all of the feedback that you have provided in regards to your experiences with SAGE,” wrote Park. “There have been several surveys soliciting your feedback and we appreciate the time you have spent providing this information. We also appreciate the phone calls and E-mails that have provided very specific experiences.  Your positive comments and your concerns are greatly appreciated. We are using all of this feedback to improve the assessments for the coming year.”

“I will look forward to receiving ongoing feedback from you next year. We are committed to improving SAGE. We want it to be a successful experience for all teachers and students,” Park said.

Utah schools began the process of administering the new tests this spring. Unique to Utah, the computer-adaptive tests are given to students based on their grade level and/or course. According to the Utah State Office of Education, SAGE is a system of assessments designed to measure student success and growth based on the Utah Core Standards.

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