This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 6:42 AM- A new American Federation of Teachers report says most of Utah's standardized tests match what students are expected to learn, although work remains to be done on reading.
Though math and science tests reflect teaching requirements, reading tests for seventh- and eighth-graders do not, the report found. And some grades had reading goals similar to the previous grade.
"We see these test scores coming out and we might see an area where the kids are struggling," said George Jackson, an AFT spokesman. "It could be as simple as what the kids are being tested on is not what the state is saying they're supposed to be learning."
The findings are part of "Smart Testing: Let's Get It Right - How Assessment-Savvy Have States Become Since NCLB?" which looked at each state's tests and how they align with content standards.
Utah State Office of Education officials defend both.
"I think they failed to take into consideration that we purposely had some of our standards repeated," said Lynne Greenwood, state curriculum coordinator and literacy specialist, noting that students are expected to practice similar skills at different grades.
The AFT report may have compared new and old standards and tests. A new test is slated to match the state's new language arts requirements for seventh- and eighth-grade students, she said.