September 09, 2019
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Humboldt County School District 7th graders made the most dramatic gain of any group in the state this past year on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, increasing their English Language Arts (ELA) score 7.18 percentage points to improve their proficiency rate to 45 percent. Winnemucca Junior High’s 7th graders led the way in the district with a 9.27 percentage point increase in its proficiency rate to 46.25 percent.
“A couple of years ago it was critical that we come up with a consistent reading curriculum, which was also adopted for our Read by Grade 3 instruction,” said Kelly Novi, Winnemucca Junior High principal. “Since then, we have provided intensive and regular training for our teachers; I have to give a shout-out to our teachers who have embraced this work to improve proficiency in ELA. When we reflected on our proficiency data as a team, our teachers felt it was unacceptable and they have been completely on board with the new curriculum and the training that it required.”
The Humboldt County School District started using a specific curriculum that Novi said introduced the “complex text” reading strategy to younger students.
“I can attribute the results here directly to the partnership and the strategy alignment we have with the state,” said Dave Jensen, Humboldt Superintendent. “We were able to purchase this new curriculum because we had our strategic plan in place and the Nevada Department of Education awarded us funding from Title I, 1003(a) school improvement grants and state turnaround funding.”
Other districts with the highest percentage point gains in 7th grade ELA included:
- Churchill improved 6.22 percentage points to 40.62 percent proficient
- State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) improved 4.37 percentage points to 62.27 percent proficient
- Carson improved 3.46 percentage points to 44.18 percent proficient
- Clark improved 2.89 percentage points to 49.66 percent proficient
Schools within these Districts with the highest ELA proficiency gains included:
- Somerset Sky Point Middle School (SPCSA) improved 20.93 percentage points to 81.39 percent proficient
- Cannon Middle School (Clark) improved 19.97 percentage points to 53.18 percent proficient
- O’Callaghan Middle School i3 Learn Academy improved 15.77 percentage points to 48.32 percent proficient
- Churchill County Middle School improved 6.22 percentage points to 40.62 percent proficient
- Carson Middle School improved 4.19 percentage points to 51.33 percent proficient
“The gains we are making on the Smarter Balanced Assessment reflect the commitment of our educators and determination of our students,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “While this continues the positive trend that began last year, we cannot be satisfied until every single child has the access and opportunities they need to demonstrate proficiency.”
All Nevada 3rd through 8th graders improved on their 2018-2019 Smarter Balanced ELA results from last year. Fifth grade students had the highest level of ELA proficiency at 51.9 percent, followed by 7th grade students at 49.9 percent, and 4th grade students at 49.2 percent proficient.
Proficiency on the Smarter Balanced Assessments is achieving a level three or four on the assessments.
Students in 5th, 6th and 7th grades made the greatest gains from last year:
- 3rd grade increased 0.20 points to 46.26 percent proficiency
- 4th grade increased 0.79 points to 49.21 percent proficiency
- 5th grade increased 1.61points to 51.90 percent proficiency
- 6th grade increased 1.90 points to 45.77 percent proficiency
- 7th grade increased 2.94 points to 49.85 percent proficiency
- 8th grade increased 0.03 points to 47.41 percent proficiency
Districts with the highest Smarter Balance ELA proficiency rates were University Schools (100 percent), State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) (59.9 percent), Eureka (55.6 percent), Douglas (55.4 percent) and Storey (53.3 percent).
Districts that showed the most improvement in ELA percentage point gains over the previous year were Mineral (6.62 points), Storey (3.77 points), Pershing (3.45 points), Humboldt (2.83 points) and the SPCSA (2.53 points).
Students in all grades improved in mathematics proficiency over the past year, with the exception of 3rd grade which decreased 0.44 percentage points. However, 3rd grade had the highest level of math proficiency at 47.8 percent. Grades four, six and seven made the largest percentage point gains:
- 3rd grade decreased 0.44 points to 47.80 percent proficiency
- 4th grade increased 2.36 points to 43.90 percent proficiency
- 5th grade increased 0.89 points to 36.74 percent proficiency
- 6th grade increased 2.30 points to 34.18 percent proficiency
- 7th grade increased 0.98 points to 32.38 percent proficiency
- 8th grade increased 0.74 points to 30.27 percent proficiency
Districts with the highest Smarter Balance math proficiency rates were University Schools (100 percent), SPCSA (48.5 percent), Douglas (46.3 percent), Lincoln (45.6 percent) and Eureka (44.4 percent).
Districts that showed the greatest math percentage point gains over the previous year were Mineral (9.5 points), Lander (4.8 points), Douglas (3.8 points), Lincoln (3.7 points) and SPCSA (3.3 points).
Smarter Balanced results will be incorporated in the 2018-2019 Nevada School Performance Framework in elementary and middle schools as academic achievement, student growth, and opportunity gap measures. In addition, these results are an indicator of academic achievement for elementary and middle school proficiency which also includes students who passed the state assessment in science.
Student growth is a measure of student progress over time and is a measure of student performance in ELA and mathematics when compared to students will similar score histories—referred to as a student growth percentile. From this student growth percentile, it is possible to tell if a student is on track to continue demonstrating proficiency or to pass the state test in the future—referred to as adequate growth. Both of these measures on the ELA and Mathematics assessment are the measures in the growth indicator in the NSPF.
The opportunity gap indicator is percentage of students meeting their adequate growth targets who did not pass the state assessment in ELA or Mathematics in the prior year. This indicator shows the percentage of students who were not successful in the prior year, but who are now on track for proficiency.