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Audit reveals extent of problems with Utah schools’ RISE tests

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SALT LAKE CITY — RISE tests, the end-of-year assessments given in Utah public schools, sank much lower than many realized, according to a new legislative audit into the system’s glitches and delays this spring.

The audit found 3,546 tests with missing scores and codes. Among other tests, auditors discovered low or inaccurate scores.

RISE tests

Photo: KSL TV

Schools reported major computer glitches and delays during the testing window. Students were locked out during testing. Others couldn’t log in. Sometimes the grade didn’t match at the end.

91% of school administrators who were surveyed said their schools were negatively impacted by the problems with the RISE tests. More than half of them said it was an extremely significant impact.

The audit also hints that if the state had not decided to switch testing companies these glitches could have been avoided. This summer, the state canceled its contract with Questar, which ran the tests this spring. The state has been working on a new contract for next year’s tests. State school officials were conducting their own investigation independent of the audit.

RISE test scores help state officials come up with annual letter grades for schools, evaluations for teachers, and federal grant money.

The Legislative Audit Subcommittee released the results on Wednesday.