Utah State Board of Education News Release: Accountability Reports for Utah Public Schools Released

January 3, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact:             Darin Nielsen, assistant superintendent of student achievement
                            801-538-7811 ∙ darin.nielsen@schools.utah.gov

Accountability Reports for Utah Public Schools Released
New Parent-focused Tool Includes More Detailed Information on School Performance

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) today released new, redesigned 2018 school accountability report cards.  The interactive tool was developed over the past 18 months with educators, parents, and community members. It includes several new features based on that feedback including ratings for each indicator and the ability for schools to highlight self-selected performance information.

In 2017, the Utah Legislature revised the school accountability system to include additional measures to assess school performance including success in readiness coursework, progress on English language proficiency and academic growth of a school’s lowest-performing students. The Legislature defined what constituted scores for A-F letter grading scales for schools, but allowed USBE to suspend assigning school grades for the 2017-18 school year.

“It is my hope that parents will take the opportunity this year to look more deeply into their child’s school performance,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “The comprehensive data that will now be publicly available offers a clearer picture of school progress and achievement in core subjects and advanced coursework.”

For the first time the report card provides schools with ratings on each indicator used to assess school performance. Ratings are reported on a five-point scale using the following descriptors (from highest to lowest): exemplary, commendable, typical, developing, critical needs. These indicator ratings capture different aspects of school performance and include academic proficiency and growth in core subjects, progress on English language proficiency, graduation rate, performance on the ACT college entrance exam, and success in readiness coursework, which includes such items as Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment participation as well as students who complete career and technical education Career Pathways. Users will be able to drill down for more information including how well a school performs on each indicator compared to other schools in the district and in the state.

Other new pieces include the testing participation rate for each school and the percentage of students consistently attending the school. The latter statistic counts only students who remain in a single school for at least 160 of the 180-day school year and are in school attendance at least 90 percent of the time.

Student scores – including demographic disaggregation – on some of the same proficiency tests used to measure school accountability were released in September. Individual student scores are not released to the general public but have been available to teachers since that time.

This year’s school accountability reports are available at: https://utahschoolgrades.schools.utah.gov/