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USBE Meetings - Summary

September 9, 2016

 

Highlights

In its September 9 meeting, the Utah State Board of Education:

  • Preliminarily approved an amended new rule giving the Board some oversight to the Utah High School Activities Association, but not dealing with student athlete transfer.
  • Prepared a list of proposed statutory changes to offer the Education Interim Committee on Utah's assessment and accountability system in schools. Among the proposed changes: Elimination of SAGE testing in high school.
  • Alerted stakeholders that this year, in accordance with state statute, the Board will raise the bar for schools to earn an A or B under the state's School Grading Law because too many schools were earning As or Bs.

 

Amended Utah High School Activities Association Rule Preliminarily Approved

A significantly revised rule passed by the Utah State Board of Education would allow the Board some oversight over the Utah High School Activities Association but stops short of providing any direction over student-athlete transfer policies.

Representatives from the Board and the Association will meet to work out Board concerns over high school athletics rules that the Board sees as not being in step with the open enrollment policy that allows students to attend any public school that has been deemed overcrowded. 

The amended rule would go into effect for the 2017-18 school year. It specifies that a district or charter cannot belong to an association unless its policies align with the following criteria:

  • Allows the State Board of Education to audit its financial statements.
  • Treat similarly-situated schools the same in applying its policies.
  • Allows the association to sanction a coach or individual who recruits or violates association policy and rules.
  • Provides annual training to adult leaders on child sexual abuse prevention, bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Requires the association to establish policy or rule to govern the use of student data.  

For additional information contact:

benjamin[dot]rasmussen[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Benjamin Rasmussen), Law and Professional Practices Director, at (801) 538-7835.   

angela[dot]stallings[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Angela Stallings), Deputy State Superintendent of Policy and Communication, at (801) 538-7550.   

 

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Board Will Recommend Changes to State's Assessment, Accountability Systems

Members of the Utah State Board of Education will recommended changes to the state's assessment and accountability system to the Education Interim Committee later this month.

Recommendations will include:

  • Eliminating SAGE for grades 9-12, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, and using ACT Aspire for grades 9 and 10, and adding ACT Writing to the regular 11th-grade ACT offering;
  • Adding metrics to the School Grading Act for high schools, including advanced course offerings, career and technical education certificates, combined grade-point averages on core courses, improvements for at-risk populations, and progress for English learner students;
  • Adding metrics to the School Grading Act for elementary schools, including grades 1-3 reading progress, progress for English learner students, and indicators that may include teacher absenteeism and student suspension rates;
  • Eliminating SAGE writing for all but grades 5 and 8 and putting a 50-minute time limit on those assessments; and
  • Suspending the designation of turnaround schools for one year to allow for transition.
     

For additional information contact:

rich[dot]nye[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Rich K. Nye), Deputy State Superintendent, at (801) 538-7550.   

 

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Performance Bar Raised This Year on School Grades

In accordance with state law, grades for Utah schools are scheduled to be released on September 15. One provision of that law states, however, that in a year in which at least 65 percent of schools receive an A or a B, that the endpoint range for grades be raised by 5 percent. That bill was part of a negotiated agreement between legislators and State Board of Education Members to avoid changing the grading scale every year. 

Utah State Board of Education calculations show that 74 percent of elementary schools and 66 percent of high schools would receive either an A or B this year, triggering the 5 percent increase rule and effectively lowering the grade for several schools. The grade change, of course, does not alter the proficiency and growth of student performance over the course of the year. It only affects the letter grade associated with the performance.

The Utah State Board of Education asked that staff include notice of this change when grades are released on September 15 and that, if possible, a school's grade before the bar was raised also be included in the grading report.

  

For additional information contact:

rich[dot]nye[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Rich K. Nye), Deputy State Superintendent, at (801) 538-7550.

 

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Board Reviews Costs of Minor Standards Revisions

The Utah State Board of Education asked staff to provide costs that are incurred when the Board asks for revisions to Utah's Core Standards.

Staff estimated a minor revision to English language arts or math standards would cost about $7 million each.

  

For additional information contact:

diana[dot]suddreth[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Diana Suddreth), Teaching and Learning Director, at (801) 538-7739.   

rich[dot]nye[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Rich K. Nye), Deputy State Superintendent, at (801) 538-7550.   

 

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Board Creates Utah Special Education Advisory Panel

The Utah State Board of Education created the Utah Special Education Advisory Panel to advise the Board on special education issues. The panel also produced its list of priorities.

 

For additional information contact:

glenna[dot]gallo[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Glenna Gallo), Special Education Director, at (801) 538-7757.

rich[dot]nye[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Rich K. Nye), Deputy State Superintendent, at (801) 538-7550.   

 

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Board Preliminarily OKs Seven Rule Amendments, Gives Final Approval to One More

More information about proposed rules and their most current drafts can be found here.

The Utah State Board of Education preliminarily approved the following rule amendments and new rules. Final approval will likely come during the Board's October 7 meeting.

 

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Board Approves Consent Calendar

The Board approved the consent calendar

 

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