The bottom 50 high schools in Utah according to the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System

Published: Friday, June 28 2013 11:56 p.m. MDT

This is a ranking of the bottom 50 public high schools in Utah — as listed in the Utah 2012-2013 educational directory — according to Utah Comprehensive Accountability System data.

Under the Utah State Office of Education's UCAS system, ratings are given based on scores from end-of-year Criterion Referenced Tests, which assess student proficiency in math, science and language arts, as well as graduation rates at the high school level.

Each school is scored on a 600-point scale, with 300 points possible in growth and 300 points possible in achievement. The state average, for high schools, is 399/600.

In the area of potential for academic growth, 200 points are possible in all students, and 100 points are possible for below proficient student growth. In achievement, schools are awarded up to 150 points for the percentage of students who are at or above proficient and 150 points for readiness, or the graduation rate calculation.

For further clarification or more detailed reports on individual schools, click here.

The first data under the new system was released in Nov. 2012, for the 2011-2012 school year. At the time, John Jesse, the assessment and accountability director for the Utah State Office of Education, told the Deseret News that parents should not take a below- or above-average score as a sign of total success or failure, but that they should look into what is contributing to the scores and what can be done to help them improve.

"Rather than make judgments, let's ask questions," Jesse said. "Is the school doing something to make that (score) happen?"

The list does not include schools that were given N/A rankings or used an alternative high school accountability report. It also does not include special schools and programs or charter schools.

Related: The top 50 high schools in Utah, according to the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System

Related: Utah high schools with highest CRT scores by weighted average in 2011

Related: Utah high schools with lowest CRT scores by weighted average in 2011

Related: Top 29 high schools based on 2011 graduation rates in Utah

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Cedar City, UT

This is one messed up scoring system. Those schools that have consistently high test scores are rated low because of lack of improvement. It has nothing to do with college readiness.

Layton, UT

Standardized testing is all bunk. We should be judging students on their ability to learn, think and do rather then the knowledge they can regurgitate. The big question is, are Utah schools inspiring our children to love learning and giving them the conficpdence to know that they can learn? I am not so sure. The focus on standardized testing IMO hurts our children more than it helps them.

Salt Lake City, UT

All 3 SLC schools made this list.....


I am not sure why they use the percentage of low income households as an indicator for how well a school is performing. All teenagers are given the same chance and opportunity to succeed in school and their family's income should not be a reflection of their performance.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

It would be nice to see "the list" without needing to scroll through it one school at a time. What a waste of time!

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

It would be interesting to see if all of the schools on the list would perform at a higher level if they dropped seminary and used the time and resources on acedemics.

Lehi, UT

Bob, all schools in Utah allow for release time, which is seminary. Seminary is not part of the requirements for high school anyway. It is an elective tank by the students. If it was such a problem, students would struggle statewide. Not the case. Nice troll job though.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Way flawed system. So West is considered one of the lowest performing schools when it has produced more National Merit Scholars than about any school out there year after year? It also has a large IB program that prepares students for college like no other. Is test scores the only thing that measures a school? How about other things like performing arts, athletics, vocational etc.? Does your student feel safe going to that school? Again, our politicians have left us a truly bogus system to measure school and student success...

Heidi T.
Farmington, UT

What test is this? Probably around 10th test the kids have to take every year. I am a veteran teacher of 38 years (Utah/Texas) and I have been astounded at the big business of testing in our country and how test taking is eating up learning time. Due to testing and importance and pressure to score "high," our children are cheated out of art, music, and creative learning. The millions of dollars the state paid to the Federal Government for Core Curriculum is disgraceful. How can one "core" curriculum meet the needs of every child's learning from Connecticut to Louisiana? However, if the scores from this dubious "test" and reporting are true, where are the members of our State Board of Education and what do we pay them for? Could they sit up and take notice and think beyond their microwave-popcorn mentality? So done with watching kids take test after test after test. While I am going on, those of us in Utah need to seriously question the money and futility of the Utah Write program. What a waste of time for our kids! A computer grades our kids writing? Really? I applaud parents and educators who ask these questions.

Mom of Six
Northern Utah, UT

There are some fascinating things I noticed on this list. Many of the low performing schools are on the west side in the Jordan district where the houses are booming. They may be "stacking them deep and teaching them cheap" and it shows! Also as a former Tooele County resident I find it interesting that Stansbury and Grantsville made the list. This is no surprise to me. Grantsville Jr. High was not a very good school to prep kids for the riggers of high school. Also, many high school students that I knew that attended Grantsville had only written one essay and had never done a research paper their entire high school career.
As an educator myself, this list speaks volumes. It is not always minority or low income schools that struggle. White middle class schools do too!

Mountain View, CA

This along with the other top list are both idiotic.

Woods Cross, UT

Cyprus High... my alma mater . Unfortunately, I agree with the ranking. It was an educational disaster 30 years ago and still is. Public dollars shouldn't go to such an institution.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

Re azamatbagatov: So is it your contention that time spent in seminary instead of studying, generally, has no ill effect on the acedemic performace of school? That seems counter intuitive at best.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Once again if you actually take a minute and try to figure out exactly how this system scores the schools, you will find it is completely bogus.

For example, Timpview, West, and Alta consistently have some of the top students in the state and have a high passing rate on the AP tests yet they show up in the bottom 50 in the state.

I went to a meeting where they tried to explain how these scores are tabulated and no one there could give a good explanation. It was something our wonderful legislators mandated and the USOE tried the best they could.

What a joke.

Lehi, UT

Bob - seeing that every public school in the state offers seminary, I'd be interested on how you'd prove your 'intuition' to be correct or incorrect.

I know at my son's school, those who participated in seminary outperformed those who did not in virtually every measure of academic measurement - gpa, credits earned, ap courses taken, ap credit earned, honor roll students, etc.

Your intuition is lacking...

Elmo, UT

Notice that 9 out of 10 of the lowest preforming schools have Minority populations over 35%. Only ONE school in the top 50 (Wendover #47) has a minority population over 35%. So does that mean that we, as a state ed system are failing minorities; Or, that minority populations fail the tests and the tests are bias?
One way or the other the % of minorities in your school is a BIG factor in these rankings.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Yep minorities and special ed students mean your school is doomed in these new rankings.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

So who teaches to honor the parents, by respecting their property and making a life of their own. Parents are a safety net not a ham-mic.

Red Smith
American Fork, UT

Students should be paid minimum wage to attend school. Punch in and out like a job.

Salt Lake City, UT

This entire mess is just propaganda from the UEA on why they need to get public educations sticky fingers into taxpayer wallets further. I think it is just proof on why this state needs to terminate teacher collective bargaining rights.

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