State Board Meeting Summary

Utah State Board of Education Meeting Summary



In its Oct. 10, 2014 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education:

  • Offered the job of State Superintendent of Public Instruction to Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith, who accepted the job. Smith will start in the first week of November.
  • Set its legislative priorities for the 2015 general session of the Utah Legislature. Chief among the expectations are full funding of growth and an inflationary increase in WPU funding.
  • Agreed to work with legislators on amending the school grading statutes in light of the state’s new computer-adaptive SAGE tests.


View the full summary at:

Ogden Superintendent Brad Smith Accepts State Superintendent Position


In an 8-7 vote, the Utah State Board of Education offered the State Superintendent of Public Instruction position to Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith who accepted the job.

Smith has been superintendent in Ogden since 2011. Before that he was a member of the Ogden School Board and an attorney. Smith replaces Martell Menlove as State Superintendent. Menlove retired in August. Joel Coleman has been serving as interim superintendent since then and will continue to do so until Smith takes over during the first week of November.

For Additional Information

Emilie Wheeler, Board Communication Specialist, at (801) 707-8421.

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Board Expects Full Funding of Growth, 1.5 Percent Increase in WPU Funding

The Utah State Board of Education set its funding priorities for the 2015 general session of the Utah Legislature. The Board expects the Legislature to fully fund growth and to increase weighted-pupil unit funding by 1.5 percent. Other ongoing funding priorities include:

  • USOE risk mitigation
  • Technology initiative
  • Targeted Professional Learning Initiative
  • WPU increase above inflation
  • Counselors for the Board’s Graduation Initiative
  • K-12 digital literacy
  • At-risk funding
  • Dual immersion growth

One time funding priorities include:

  • Technology initiative
  • Capital equalization program
  • Transportation Initiative
  • At-risk math professional development
  • Principal professional development
  • Beverley Taylor Sorenson Elementary Arts Program.


For Additional Information

Joel Coleman, Interim State Superintendent, at (801) 538-2710.

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Board Supports Keeping School Grade Distribution in Line with 2013

This past spring Utah students switched from traditional criterion-referenced tests based on older standards in English language arts and math to new computer-adaptive tests based on the Board’s more rigorous 2010 Utah Core Standards in language arts and math. Because the standards have been raised, the state expects proficiency rates to decrease — not due to declining performance but due to increased rigor and expectations.

Lower proficiency rates will then likely be reflected in the state’s school grading statutes. The Legislature has indicated a willingness to work with the Board on setting reasonable determinations for school grades in light of the new tests. The Board put forth as its position that school grades should have a similar distribution what was experienced in 2013, albeit not necessarily school for school.

The Board also approved having the Utah State Office of Education seek amendments to its new Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver to eliminate growth as a consideration in 2014 calculations of school accountability since the computer-adaptive tests are not comparable with the old criterion-referenced tests. The state will also seek to reset its annual measurable objectives based on the new tests.

For Additional Information

Judy Park, Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, at (801) 538-7550.
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School Children’s Trust Annual Report Reviewed

The Utah State Board of Education reviewed the annual report from the School Children’s Trust.


For Additional Information

Tim Donaldson, School Children’s Trust Director, at (801) 538-7709.

Bruce Williams, Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations, at (801) 538-7814.


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Board Gives Preliminary Approval to Two New Rules, One Amendment

The Utah State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the following new rule and rule change. Final approval will likely come during the Board’s November 7 meeting:



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Board Reviews Draft Risk Mitigation Plan for State Office of Education

The Utah State Board of Education reviewed a draft USOE Risk Mitigation Plan that clarifies responsibilities, identifies needed resources, and moves toward improved data systems and financial structures.


For Additional Information

Bruce D. Williams, Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations, at (801) 538-7514.

Joel Coleman, Interim State Superintendent, at (801) 538-7510.
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Board Approves Consent Calendar

The Utah State Board of Education approved the consent calendar.


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