September 04, 2019
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada high school science students showed a 5.09 percent improvement this year over 2017-18 results. Science performance in elementary schools increased over the prior year while middle school performance decreased:
- Nevada fifth grade science students showed a 1.53 percentage point increase over the previous year.
- Nevada eighth grade science students showed a 1.23 percentage point decrease over the previous year.
- Nevada high school science students showed a 5.09 percentage point increase over the previous year.
“With the ever growing importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in our college and career pathways, I cannot overstate the importance of our Science assessment,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Nevada public school students take state administered science assessments in the 5th, 8th, and 10th grades, although students who are academically prepared, may take the 10th grade science assessment as 9th graders. For grades 5 and 8, science assessment content is a blending of Life, Physical, Earth Sciences, and integrated relevant science practices and concepts, and in high school the focus is on Life Sciences and integrated relevant science practices and concepts. All Nevada students in grades 5, 8, and High School must participate in the science assessments and results are included in the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF).
For elementary and middle schools in the NSPF, science proficiency is included with proficiency on the English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments and for high school the science results are calculated separately. Some highlights from this year’s performance:
The following results highlight increases in science achievement across all levels:
In High Schools:
- Storey leads the state in 2018-19 high school science proficiency at 53.83 percent, followed by Pershing at 45.45 percent, and Douglas at 35.88 percent.
- Districts showing the greatest point gains in high school science proficiency include Pershing at 17.8, Humboldt at 14.37 and Lander at 11.02.
In Middle Schools:
- Storey leads the state in middle school science proficiency at 59.52 percent, followed by Douglas County at 46.02 percent, and SPCSA at 44.9 percent.
- Districts showing the greatest point gains in middle school science proficiency include Lincoln at 13.87, Eureka at 13.57 and Churchill at 6.44.
In Elementary Schools:
- The State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) leads the state in 2018-19 elementary school science proficiency at 34.94 percent, followed by Douglas at 34.11 percent, and Carson at 33.33 percent.
- Districts showing the greatest percentage point gains in elementary science proficiency include Lincoln at 11.78, and Pershing at 10.97.
In 2014, Nevada adopted the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science (NVACSS), based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and began developing and field testing of the new assessments in the 2015-2016 school year. Spring of 2017 was the first time that students took this newly aligned science assessment and those results were used to determine cut scores and performance levels of achievement.
The Science Assessments are administered at schools once a year as a computer-based test. Paper versions of the test are available to students who require certain accommodations. For grades 5 and 8, students respond to both multiple choice and constructed response item types with some content enhanced by online technology. For High School, students will respond to multiple choice item types with some content enhanced by online technology.
For more information http://www.doe.nv.gov/Assessments/Science/