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Comments about ‘First scores from SAGE testing expected to show drop in proficiency’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 18 2014 4:25 p.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 6:44 a.m. MDT

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Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

A lot of parents are going to hit the roof over this. I think that the raising of the bar was in high need, however. I think back to the days when I was school. My school was average. And they sent almost no one to college. This was back in the late 90s, early 2000s. As someone who now teaches at the university level (mathematics), we are behind in Utah. Way behind. And there are too many teachers and parents trying to stop the train of positive reform from leaving the station.

Crisco B
Salt Lake City, UT

I think that as they tweak the SAGE tests, the results will begin to reflect exactly where Utah stands. But I am a big fan of higher standards. I find it unfathomable that parents would pull their kids out of the testing. Although, maybe teachers were overjoyed about some students being excluded from the testing. If the parent of a struggling student pulls their child, Hallelujah! Higher average score! Perhaps I should begin suggesting that all my low students exclude themselves from the final tests.

Bit really, we need these higher standards. We have been swimming in the shallow end for far too long.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

A lot of student didn't take this seriously. Until it actually means something to their lives, some will give effort, some will do it as fast as they can to get it over with.

TheOcean
SPRINGVILLE, UT

"If the parent of a struggling student pulls their child, Hallelujah! Higher average score!"

FYI: At my traditional public school in conservative Utah County, is was the parents of the "best and brightest" who overwhelmingly opted their students out of SAGE testing.

When teacher pay is tied to these scores, I know many who are NOT going to "overjoyed" if this trend continues. Opting out can be (and will be in many situations) a huge game changer when it comes to the validity of the data. Any legislators out there listening?

Crisco B
Salt Lake City, UT

The thing I legitimately wonder is why you would want to opt your child out of SAGE testing. What are the motives? That the tests are too hard? That the tests might actually tell you your student is average? Or is it just to prove a point? I honestly cannot see the motives.

We need fewer vigilante parents and more parents who "own up" and actually realize that maybe their "best and brightest" are just average. And do something at home about it.

TheOcean
SPRINGVILLE, UT

"The thing I legitimately wonder is why you would want to opt your child out of SAGE testing."

At my school, it all goes back to the Common Core. The SAGE tests are seen as the "government data sharing element" of Common Core. Opting out of SAGE=Fight against the Common Core. This is a story that the news media has completely missed. They reported the initial stories about teachers "encouraging" their struggling students to have their parents opt them out of SAGE but they need to report the story that emerged as testing went on--that many, many high achievers never took the tests--and therefore the data is flawed.

Respectfully--I really don't think this is a case of parents thinking their students are academically brilliant when they aren't. The students that I am labeling "best and brightest" really are the academic superstars at my school. I got the feeling that the parents did what they felt was right to fight against the Common Core. But, for teachers and the latest pay for performance measures, that missing data will be felt in the purse and wallet.

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

Parents will have their children opt out of SAGE because it is tied to Common Core. Many people are against Common Core and think education should be administrated at the state level not the "national level fits all". Many feel that we have too much encroachment at the federal level in every area of our lives. And, that is a legitimate concern for many people! The fact that their children are the "best and brightest" might tell you about the academic level of these parents.

Utah Teacher
Orem, UT

At our school it definitely wasn't the best and brightest that were pulling their kids out of SAGE testing. It was the ones whose kids had missed a LOT of days of school. Many "home schooled" their kids part of the day as well. Those kids usually don't do so well on the end of year testing so we weren't too upset to have their scores not count against us.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

I do not think that opting out of SAGE testing is coming from the most educated parents; it is coming from the "less than college diploma" parents. This is how it is in my area at least. It is the undereducated, not the educated, who are opting out. I come from a long line of college graduates (Great Grandmother being the first). Both my grandfathers have graduate degrees (In education). My grandmother and mother (who also did grad school) both were elementary educators. My father is a former college instructor. I also teach at the university level (meaning I too went to graduate school). And we are in favor of Common Core.

I find it odd that parents feel the need to opt their "best and brightest" in order to make a point. Do not tell me your kid is bright: Show me. That's how it works on this playground. If you say you can do a flip off the swing, you better be ready to show me. And you do that by doing well on the SAGE test.

Also, for the record: Common Core is not run by the federal government. We need to stop saying that.

Oak
Highland, UT

The dumbest thing anyone can do in trying to ascertain progress is change all the variables simultaneously. When the state office adopted Common Core (without ANY public input) and then also changed the state tests at the same time, they created the perfect cover. NOBODY can tell the true effects of new standards and new curriculum, unless you keep the old tests in place to see how students benchmark against a constant. This whole Common Core charade is a sick joke, and the joke is on our children thanks to greedy state education officials who sold their souls to the federal government for the chance at the Race to the Top jackpot (which we never received).

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

Well said Vladhagen.

Any educated parent wouldn't believe in the conspiracy theories people are blaming on the common core. Anybody that actually reads it and studies it quickly sees it is just a set of standards we hope all kids can meet. There isn't even a curriculum to go with it. No book, no test, no lesson plans, just standards.

Now get a group of not very well educated people together and throw in some government conspiracy theories and they will gladly jump on board with that.

I have been totally amazed at this issue. It is humorous really. Well that is until I see that the children are being used as pawns in a game that will ultimately harm them. I watched the state school board meeting online the other day. The comments that were being thrown around there by the audience members in green shirts were absolutely ridiculous.

Luckily for us common sense usually wins out. That is until our legislature gets involved. Then we get genius ideas like grading schools. Did you know that was started by the pro-voucher crowd?

Educated mom
Ut, UT

I find it pretty narrow minded that all the "educated parents" on here that are judging all the "uneducated parents" seems to have forgotten that each parent has the right to do what they feel is best for their children. What right do you have to place judgement and assume parents are uneducated because they choose to opt their children out of five weeks worth of online SAGE tests?

In my experience, the parents that opt their children out, have put hours into studying AIR, Common Core, SAGE, Race to the top, SLDA, Ferpa, etc. I am one of the "uneducated parents" that has put hours into studying all of those things and attending SAGE meetings. I have set in meetings with Judy Park.

So before you pass judgement, maybe you ought to consider the fact that parents opting out have done hours of research unlike those parents that just go along because they are educated and have a degree in education.

I don't need an education degree to know what is best for my children.

gridlockisbetter
Toosmalltosay, UT

Orem Parent got one thing right. We were expected to meet those standards with "no book, no tests, no lesson plans, just standards." This "uneducated" parent would like his educated children to have a decent textbook to learn from. It seems that the decision to adopt the Common Core was made so quickly that there was no time to consider trivial things like textbooks and curriculum. There was time enough to issue mandates, apply for federal RTTT money, request waivers from NCLB, and then try to pick up the pieces later. Some educational plan.

caf
Bountiful, UT

It seems that the "educated" parents on this site look down on those who only have "masters" degrees. Many parents from all educational levels opted their children out of the SAGE testing. Our teachers never see the questions or answers on these tests, an outside company does all the work.

"no book, no tests, no lesson plans, just standards." Correct, yet somehow a mass of confusing math workbooks, etc. were implemented all over the state. I was told that the students scores will go down initially with the sage testing. That is because the teachers can't teach the new curriculum - not because the students are being held to a higher level. Children are generally bright enough to learn new concepts, if taught properly.

Deseret News seems to produce articles that promote Common Core and demonize parents who do not.

abcdefg
Tucson, AZ

Why wouldn't you opt your child out of these tests? Education is not accomplished by hours and hours of testing. Education is not accomplished by spending days and weeks learning how to take the test. More steps does not equal increased rigor. It is a waste of time and money to spend so much effort on something that is going to ultimately tell you what about your child? Nothing a teacher couldn't figure out actually teaching them. Also, please stop with the inane, trite comments about home schooled children. Enough data is available to refute any negative claims anyone may make about home schooled kids. Most kids would prefer it to public school. Education occurs when knowledge can be applied in a meaningful way. A standardized test is not a meaningful application of knowledge.
For those of you who think a college education equals higher intelligence then you need to do some homework of your own. Some of the most seemingly average and under-performing students turned out to contribute the most to our society and world. You need not look farther than that cool smart phone or pad you used to leave your unintelligent remarks.

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