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Reports from Policy Analysts

Utah's K-12 Student Assessments

Submitted On: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Analyst: Kirby, Dawn Latta

A recent report by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) indicates that Utah and California are the only two states with laws in place that “permit parents to opt their children out of state [required K-12] assessments for any reason,” (Education Commission of the States (emphasis added). Unlike Oregon and Ohio, however, Utah does not appear to “take the extra step of providing public information, clearly outlining both the purpose of their state assessments and the potential consequences to not taking them” (Education Commission of the States).

Because Utah (and other states) accepts federal funding for education, however, students “cannot be excluded from federal accountability measures and reports” (Education Commission of the States).  Further, Utah is one of “18 states . . . administering Smarter Balanced assessments . . .” (Education Commission of the States [ECS] State Summative Assessments) rather than those created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC).

 Utah does not require high schools to administer “end of course” testing nor specific additional testing in social studies and writing (ECS). Utah has also renamed the Common Core State Standards to be the “Utah Core State Standards” (ECS, State Academic Standards).

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