Eleven percent of Utah’s 855 public schools earned an A, 45 percent a B, 30 percent a C, 10 percent a D and 4 percent an F. Grades are based on a combination of student growth and student performance on criterion-referenced tests in language arts, math and science given in the spring of each year. High schools are also judged in part on the additional standard of graduation rates. Schools also had to test at least 95 percent of all their students and 95 percent of their underperforming students. Schools that failed to test enough students were given a grade of F regardless of student performance or growth.
“I invite parents and those interested in the performance of Utah’s public schools to use these school grades as an invitation to further explore our schools and how well students are doing,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove. “These grades are based test performance and growth. I suspect there may be changes in the calculations as we move forward into the next legislative session. There are many other measures of schools. I encourage those of you with students in high schools to look at the results of ACT, SAT and AP tests there. For a parent, the best measure of a school is happens between a student and a teacher.”
The Utah Legislature passed the school grading bill in 2011 and made modifications in 2013. This is the first year a single letter grade has been issued for each school in the state.
All schools can earn up to 300 points by having all students proficient in language arts, math and science. They can earn another 300 points by showing growth for all students and for all students who are below proficient. The fewer students who show proficiency or growth, the lower a school’s grade. Schools with 80-100 percent of the total points for proficiency and growth (or 480-600 points) and growth earned an A, those with 70-79 percent a B, those with the 60-69 percent a C, those with 50-59 percent a D and those at 49 percent or less, an F. High schools earn an additional 150 points based on graduation rates. The graduation rate is multiplied by 150 to determine the number of points (e.g., .70 x 150 = 105). High school grades are based on a 750-point scale.
Individual school grades can be found on the Public School Data Gateway found on the Utah State Office of Education website, https://psdreports.schools.utah.gov/Gateway. Once on the site, type in the name of the school you are interested in to get the school’s report.