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Nevada test scores show growth across districts, demographic groups

A pencil lays on top of a filled-out standardized test bubble sheet next to a pile of books.
Nevada students achieved higher scores on the Smarter Balanced test last year across the state, but there is still room to grow.

The Nevada Department of Education has released standardized test scores from last year. Third through eighth grade students have shown modest improvements in their English and math skills.

The proficiency rate in English is 43.7 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the previous year. In math, 30 percent of students are proficient, an increase of 3.5 points.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert is impressed by the results even as schools were dealing with the impacts of the pandemic.

“I’m really proud of the growth across the board, but specifically, it is the first time that we as a state have seen all of the federally designated groups of students increase in every single area,” Ebert explained.

Of those, Latino students demonstrated the most growth in both subjects, while Eureka County students showed the most improvement and had the highest proficiency rates. Eureka’s superintendent, Tate Else, cited teachers as the main reason for growth.

Else said the scores show that the district’s personalized support for students and its use of data are working well. Ebert also mentioned that extending learning time for students helps, too

But both say there is still room for improvement, with Ebert specifically asking for more funding from the Nevada Legislature.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Jose Davila IV is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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