Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Local School Board Limitations

Some people have asked about what local school boards could change in terms of the core curriculum and SAGE testing.
This clarification from State Board of Education indicates that neither of these items can be modified by local school boards or charter schools. If you are concerned about changing these issues, then you should be selecting state school board members who share your views.
The Utah Core Standards ( are under the governance of the Utah State Board of Education. Utah law does not permit local boards – district or charter – to opt out of state academic standards. The Utah State Board of Education did adopt the Common Core standards back in 2010. Common Core is limited to math and English language arts standards. Those standards have been revised since 2010 and are part of an ongoing process to evaluate their effectiveness and relevance. You can see the revision schedule here: You may want to also note the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA,, passed earlier this year by Congress, prohibits the federal government from determining or approve state academic standards (you’ll find it on page 436 of the ESSA link above).
State law (…, section 3 specifically) requires the State Board to require computer-adaptive testing of all local districts and charter schools. That same rule – in section 9 – allows a district or charter to waive SAGE testing in grade 11. Though it’s not written into state law, the intent behind that waiver deals with all Utah public school students being given the ACT college entrance exam. If they’re taking the ACT, SAGE may be redundant and there is evidence this would be acceptable under the federal ESSA rules as well. Utah is not the only state moving in this direction.

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