Utah students' test scores drop in subjects, data shows

Published on September 12, 2017 at 10:58AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Student scores on Utah’s computer-based proficiency exams dropped for the first time since the test was started four years ago, according to the Utah State Board of Education.

The data made public Monday showed that proficiency rates in 2016-17 fell at every grade level in nearly every tested subject. Subjects tested include language arts, math and science.

Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said officials “will be looking deeper into the numbers to understand reasons behind the slight decline.”

He added: “One year of decrease does not annul three years of growth, particularly when we also have 2017 data from ACT that shows an increase in Utah high school student scores.”

Language arts proficiency rates went from 44.1 percent in 2016 to 43.6 percent last school year; math rates declined from 46.5 percent to 45.7 percent; and science rates dropped from 48.7 percent to 47.5 percent.

The data also shows the number of students opting out of the tests continues to increase and is up 216 percent since the testing program named SAGE was started in 2014.