The preliminary results were inadvertently released in June by the San Juan School District. While these final results show a few changes from the June release, the general trend continues of growth in test scores by local students. The San Juan School District operates 12 schools and has approximately 2,800 students.
Students throughout the state are tested each year in April and May in language, math and science. The comprehensive testing program was developed by the State of Utah.
The testing results show positive gains for students and schools throughout the school district. Overall, the percentage of students scoring proficient in the language and math tests grew by five percent in a single year. The growth in science scores is three percent.
While there is a wide variation in test score results between the schools in the district, the general trend across the district was a growth in student proficiency, particularly in language and math scores.
The most impressive gains in test scores include the language scores at Bluff Elementary School and the language, math and science scores at Monticello High School.
Other impressive gains include the math scores at Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, the math scores at Bluff Elementary School, the math scores at Monticello Elementary School, language scores at Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley, science scores at Albert R. Lyman Middle School in Blanding, and language scores at Monument Valley High School.
A total of 64 percent of the students at Monticello High School scored in the proficient range in the math tests. This was in the top ten among all Utah high schools and was the third highest score among traditional public high schools.
Native American students have made the most impressive gains among various ethnic groups over the prior three years, according to statewide scores.
The language scores of Native American students have increased by 17.1 percent between 2014 and 2016, while the math scores grew by 18.8 percent over the same period. The science score increase by Native American students is 8.6 percent.
No other ethnic group approaches the growth in Native American scores. In contrast, Hispanic/Latino scores grew by 3.5 percent in language, 6.8 percent in math, and 8.6 percent in science.
Among ethnic groups, Native American students have scored the lowest in the state, but the performance gap is narrowing.
According to the State of Utah, differences in proficiency rates between genders remained relatively the same as previous school years. By race/ethnicity, all groups saw increases in proficiency rates in math and science.
In language test, proficiency rates for African American/Black students, Pacific Islanders, and White students decreased slightly while proficiency rates for American Indians, Asians and Hispanic/Latinos increased.
Economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with disabilities all made increases in their overall proficiency rates.
A challenge in reporting the results is distilling a massive amount of information into a useable format. The attached chart summarizes the language, math and science scores for an entire school into a single number. Individual student test results are available for parents and students.
The SAGE testing program is in its fourth year. It has been under scrutiny, and there is legislative concern about the program. In a special legislative session in the spring of 2016, Governor Gary Herbert suggested the state do away with the program. As a result, this may be the last year that the state uses the testing program.