What is SAGE?
The SAGE acronym stands for Student Assessment for Growth and Excellence. SAGE is the new Utah computer adaptive assessment system, aligned to the State’s Mathematics, Language Arts, and Science standards. This is the first year of implementation for the SAGE, and it will replace the CRT (Criterion Referenced tests), which were the previous end of year assessments.
Why the Change?
The state curriculum has changed with our new Utah Core, although is it aligned with our previous Utah Core in many ways. A new end of year examination was needed to reflect the new state standards.
What Changes Will There Be?
The previous CRT was a fixed question assessment that consisted of approximately 60 multiple choice questions. The new SAGE is a computer adaptive test, which means it will adapt the questions according to the students’ demonstrated knowledge. This allows more information to be gathered about the student’s cognitive ability in a shorter amount of time, and will accurately measure knowledge, rather than a right or wrong set of 60 questions. The SAGE testing bank consists of thousands of questions with the ability to scale the level of each question to match each student’s cognitive ability. The American Institutes for Research, which is the software company for the SAGE, employs an algorithm that adapts the test in real time responding to the accuracy of a student’s response to the previous questions. This allowed the algorithm to more accurately and efficiently determine a student’s level of proficiency.
Although The American Institutes for Research provides the software and interface for the exam, the questions were created from our state standards, by six focus groups of teachers, administrators and parents.
When do the students take the test?
At the end of this school year, all charter schools and school districts will be required to administer the SAGE Summative assessment in grades 3-12 in the subjects of language arts, math, and science (3rd grade does not test in science). SAGE Formative is available now for teachers to create sample tests for students, or share a bank with sample tests with other teachers. SAGE Formative can be used year around as a practice tool for teachers and students, very similar to our UTIPS (Utah Test Item Pool Service).
What will the test look like?
SAGE will include many manipulative components within it, such as virtual labs, drag and drop, graphing, as well as writing, and multiple choice. SAGE will allow the student to interact with the test by accessing tool such as rules, lines, short answer essays, and more.
How Parent Involvement Will Benefit
It is important for students to become familiar with the SAGE format and how to maneuver through the pages. Use of the keyboard and mouse will play a part in the students’ success, so we are asking parents to log in at home and view the practice tests with your children. Students, parents, and teachers can access sample questions in the SAGE portal practice tests, allowing students to become familiar with the tools and format of the questions students will receive during the testing. You can access the SAGE testing portal at sageportal.org. This portal will not correct the test questions, but will allow students to become more familiar with the SAGE tools. We encourage parents and students to access the SAGE portal to increase their familiarity with the new test platform.
Since the SAGE program is new, there will not be raw scores available shortly after testing. Results will be given to schools in late September, with a November public release. The SAGE system will provide school districts with accurate fall to spring growth for all students. The student growth will then be tracked for their entire educational career. Please be aware that results in SAGE should not be compared to the old CRT test as one was a standard 60 question test and the other is an adaptive test with thousands of questions in each content area. We have been told by the state, and would like to share with you, to please be prepared for lower proficiency in students because of the new SAGE adaptive assessments. When adaptive assessments have been administered in other states, the number of students who are proficient was sometimes up to 30% lower when compared to the older CRT test. The lower proficiency does not mean students are not ready to advance to the next grade; it simply means students will be assessed in a completely different adaptive assessment environment. This means that they are learning more content material, there are more questions to provide an accurate assessment, and they are learning how to answer questions with computer manipulatives in addition to traditional formats.
If you would like to read more information relating to SAGE you can access the USOE web page for assessment, and we will also try to provide you with as much information as we can. http://schools.utah.gov/assessment/Adaptive-Assessment-System.aspx