Comments about ‘Utah's new adaptive testing system draws praise, criticism’

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Published: Sunday, April 20 2014 7:35 p.m. MDT

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Mcallen, TX

Does testing equal learning?

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

If you think it is bad this year, wait until next year. This year they are just piloting the SAGE testing at the end of the school year. Next year it will be a quarterly test. You think your kids are being tested too much now? Wait until you see what is coming!

Salt Lake City, UT

I'd like to know where this article gets their information that educators are thrilled with the SAGE testing. I don't know any teachers in my building who love it to pieces. The prep for testing plus the testing is taking up way too much time now, and it will get worse next year. We have to start the end of year testing so early that there is not time to finish teaching the state core before it is tested. I'm not a fan. They still have not addressed the problem of kids who miss a lot of school or kids who have just moved in and haven't had the material. All of this will still work against the teacher whose pay will be partly determined by the test outcomes.

Mcallen, TX

Testing, assessments, and accountability has been around for decades:

It hasn't improved education. Period!

Saint George, UT

For the reporter - A common mistake which testing might remedy has to do with the use of compliment and complement. I can't compliment the reporter on this issue. "In reality, she said, each compliments the other."

Herriman, UT

I Think that if you are going to test to assess a teacher and their effectiveness then you should also use these tests to assess individual students and deciding whether or not they advance in grade level. Teachers right now are not using these tests to he determine student grades at the end of their grading periods so little Johnny could come on test day and decide that it doesn't count so why should I care? When that happens the teacher is judged as an ineffective teacher.

Vernal, UT

My school has been doing computer adaptive testing for years. We've done it four times per year. The adaptive testing has been valuable to help us understand individual student strengths and weaknesses. The drawback to the previous testing was it was multiple choice, so students could guess instead of having to show their work. With SAGE, the state has solved that issue. Students must now show their work. Interestingly, the students are telling us they prefer this type of testing over the old form of adaptive testing. Kudos to the teachers for helping children focus on mastery and showing their work.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT


Testing DEMONSTRATES learning. While there are more methods available to demonstrate learning, testing is probably the most accurate measurement.


There are several flaws in the article most that the author would be unaware of. First, SAGE test results are not expected to be any earlier than previous CRT results as per instruction from the state. The results may start speeding up next year, but since this is the first year and the test itself will be evaluated for accuracy don't expect data quickly. The results will probably come before Christmas this year and before school is out the following year.

The second flaw is that the tests all the tests are computer adaptive. From what has been reported this is only partially true. Having observed one test for language arts I can say that that test was not adaptive and I am okay with that. What I really hope is that the math section is completely adaptive by next year.


I took tests, what are the differences between these tests and the SAT ACT tests I took as a young man?
If you don't take a test, and perform well under pressure, then how will you prove yourself with no experience to draw from?


Picture what my high school children will be doing soon - taking end of year math tests that are not multiple choice on a computer. This means typing in all formulas, etc - that would be very difficult when all year you do work on paper.

Another gripe not related specifically is that one high school math teacher even has her regular tests for her students before their homework is graded. They turn in all homework at the time of the test - some kids flat out don't know what they don't know at the time they're tested - but then they move on to the next unit & never learn the previous material fully. ...2 more years until kids are out of public school & counting down every minute.

Moab, UT

Has this author done any research in to how much it costs districts to implement the testing? Districts cannot, and do not, write their own adaptive tests ~ they are too expensive ~ so they purchase pre-written tests that even teachers cannot view and parents cannot see, neither before nor after their student(s) have participated in the testing. One principal I spoke with said she would 'like to see what's on the tests' and 'if you find out what's on them, let me know'. The only way for a parent or teacher or administrator to find out the content of these tests is to petition the state office of education and hope they grant to a parent the blessing to see what is included on these tests. Sad.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT


The third and most obvious flaw was the statement that teacher love SAGE. It would be more accurate to say tolerate.

I will say that the one test I have so far seen was by far WAY better than past assessments. It looks fun to take, has nice bells and whistles. I hear the Science section will be a blast.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


Without testing there is no objective way of quantifying learning. You can't sit in a job interview and say "yeah, I know I only got 55% right on my math final, but I really am good at math...trust me."

Sandy, UT

Really do not see the cost of testing to be an issue, these education people are very well paid.
I do not know what kind of time these tests take. I highly doubt if there were excess funds that teachers would see a pay increase, although they should have one. From what I understood out of this article sounded like educators are trying to fine tune the current system so it is more efficient and effective.

Honeyvale, CA

One very important issue was left out of this article.

Those against SAGE fear the owner of the company who created the test. They fear he will use it to brainwash their children with liberal ideas and collect data to track them throughout their lives.

They complain they want to see the questions before the test is given (how would that preserve the integrity of the exam?), they want to see the results the teacher sees (can you say privacy issues...I don't want you seeing my child's results). Talk about a conspiracy theory! When one parent told me this I about fell off my chair!

The Against Common Core folks are trying to invalidate the testing by opting their children out. (The test needs 95% participation to be valid). Most of them are not even researching it themselves, they're are just doing what their leaders are telling them to do.

You opt your child out it hurts my chid by lowering the rating of my school. If you want change, take your argument to your Local and State School Boards and stop negatively affecting the education of my child with your political issues!

Woods Cross, UT

This article seems to highlight the opinions of individuals who may or may not be informed about the goals and practices entailed in this test. There needs to be a Deseret News article on the SAGE test, from the people who actually know what they are talking about, not the controversy.

Elmo, UT

My only complaint, and why we opted our son out, is in the math testing. Our Son has a 504 plan and IEP that allowed for calculator use all school year. Now, at the end, with SAGE testing, there are no calculators allowed. This is comparable to hauling hay with a bale wagon for three crops and then having to haul by hand on the fourth crop because the state doesn't want that one done that way... Make learning and testing consistent and I am for it.

sl, UT

The sage test was not well written. No teacher or is allowed to know what is on the test! The districts don't have any idea what they were giving! Some of the questions were ridiculous, for example, Choose between a dog and a horse for one that has the most impacted human history. Bark, Whinny. What? They don't teach that in Honors anything. So if the kids don't do good on the test, which would be hard for them to do, because of the wackiness of it, and the test is a direct reflection of the teacher's ability to teach the impact of dogs and horses on humankind. when the bad scores come back, the teachers can be fired or have their performance reviews effected and the state can save money. Then,the Acuity test that the teacher from GSD got fired for not giving. Another test that no one knows what is on the test and are not allowed to know. So the teacher can't teach OUR children what the state/district thinks they should know. There is some sort of disconnect here.

Mcallen, TX

@Steven S Jarvis:

Problem is, we spend more time measuring than teaching, and it consumes much of the funding.

If testing, assessments, and accountability improved education, we'd have an educated nation which wouldn't depend on eighty two thousand highly skilled workers from other countries per year.

As it is, half our students going to college, are not prepared to do the work.

Lehi, UT


Where have you seen that this testing will happen quarterly? And please don't cite some scare website to back your claim.

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