K-12 Education

K-12 prepares students not only to join the workforce or postsecondary education, but encourages students to explore their interest and talents, broadening both their social and academic skills. This page explores proficiency and preparedness of Utah students throughout their K-12 education.

Proficiency in core academic subjects

Average math proficiency level in Utah
Average reading proficiency level in Utah
Average science proficiency level in Utah
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Peer states with similar socioeconomic and demographics as Utah are used to evaluate performance. Benchmark states are also included to measure Utah against top performers. In 2017, Utah performed above both the national and peer state average, but below benchmark states when averaging across all subjects. The exception to this is in the science category where Utah performed at the same level as benchmark states.


Proficiency by gender and race/ethnicity

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is administered uniformly across states, allowing for state to state comparisons. NAEP is administered to a sample of students, given every two years for math and reading while science and writing assessments are given periodically among differing states. Results are then reported for groups of students with similar characteristics such as race/ethnicity and gender as opposed to individual results. The results for certain groups are suppressed in the event that the number of students represented in the group is too small to report.

The average proficiency across all grades and subjects has increased over time by more than 19%, but with significant disparities between different racial and ethnic groups. While overall, females reach proficiency more frequently than their male counterparts, this varies across subjects averaging at a difference of 2.3%. Advanced proficiency is highest among Asian and white students at 5.3% and 5.9% respectively.

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Percent of students who are proficient in core subjects in Utah

Percent of 3rd grade students proficient in ELA (2017-2018)
Percent of 3rd grade students proficient in math (2017-2018)
Proficiency in math by race and ethnicity
Proficiency in math by group

This metric uses SAGE assessments to measure performance in varying subjects. SAGE assessments are a set of computer adaptive tests based on Core Utah academic standards. The difficulty of the test adjusts with the students answers, providing a measure of each individual student's abilities. Three assessments are used to measure proficiency. ELA measures students' understanding of English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. The math assessment is divided into 3rd-8th grade math and secondary I, II and III courses for older students. The science assessment begins in the 4th grade and measures proficiency in several science subjects including chemistry, physics, biology and earth science.

Proficiency in ELA by race and ethnicity

Students scored better on average in 3rd grade than the subsequent years combined. Students with disabilities and English language learners had the lowest rates of proficiency on average in 3rd-8th grades, while Asian and white students had the highest proficiency overall on average. The highest proficiency rate for all students was in 3rd grade math, with a rate of 52%, and the lowest proficiency for all students in 3rd-8th grade taking the ELA assessment at 46%.

Proficiency in ELA by group
Proficiency in science by race and ethnicity Proficiency in science by group