SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Office of Education today released the first data from Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS), the new school accountability system that replaces the state’s Utah Performance Assessment System for Students (U-PASS) and the federal adequate yearly progress (AYP) reports.
“It’s great that we in Utah now have one fair, equitable accountability system for student progress, and it’s one that honors not just proficiency, but student growth to account for all the hard work of Utah’s students, teachers and parents,” said State Assessment and Accountability Director John Jesse. “Parents will be able to get in and see how their child’s school is performing in one place.”
UCAS reports are based on criterion-referenced tests given each spring to Utah public school students in language arts, math and science. It also includes results of direct writing assessments and high school graduation rates.
Schools are rated both on how many students are considered proficient in the tested core subjects (status), but also on how many students who aren’t proficient are moving toward proficiency (growth).
Schools can earn up to 300 points for status and 300 points for growth, for a total top score of 600 points. The average score for non-high schools in Utah is 435. The average score for high schools is 398. Each report includes the school’s comparison to the state average.
Parents may come to the Utah State Office of Education website, www.schools.utah.gov, click on the “Public School Data Gateway” link on the front page, then type in the name of any school in the search bar to get a UCAS report.
People looking for a spreadsheet with all of the state’s schools on it may find it at www.schools.utah.gov/data/Educational-Data/Accountability-School-Performance.aspx.
Since this is the first year for UCAS reports, there isn’t comparative data for previous years. State education officials will continue to review the reports to make sure they are a fair reflection of a school’s academic achievement and will make adjustments accordingly.
UCAS was made possible through agreement with the Utah Legislature and Governor’s Office for replacing U-PASS scoring methods and from the U.S. Department of Education which waived requirements for AYP based on UCAS reports.