Nevada Department of EducationNevada Department of Education

    Nevada Shows Solid Growth in Year-Over-Year Smarter Balanced Math Assessment Results

    September 04, 2018

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – All Nevada third through eighth grades improved their Smarter Balanced math assessment results from last year.

    “The improvement in both math and English Language Arts (ELA) once again demonstrates that Nevada is on course to become the fastest improving state in the nation,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I believe that the funding priorities set forth by Governor Brian Sandoval and our legislature during the past two sessions are beginning to bear fruit.”

    Carson, Churchill, Clark, Elko, and Washoe County School Districts demonstrated the most growth in math. The increase in eighth grade math performance is partly attributed to the change in status of the End of Course exams that were taken by many middle schoolers.

    Preliminary data released today by the Nevada Department of Education indicates that all grade levels except seventh grade showed an increase in performance on ELA results. Most districts saw improvement in their ELA scores as well with Churchill and Elko showing significant increases in performance over last year. Final complete Smarter Balanced data will be available with the update of on September 14.

    Proficiency on the Smarter Balanced assessment is achieving a level three or four on the assessments. The following preliminary data show the percentage of students proficient at each grade level in each content area and the percent improvement over last year:

    English Language Arts:

    • Grade 3 increased 1.32 percent to 46.12 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 4 increased 2.23 percent to 48.45 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 5 increased .09 percent to 50.33 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 6 increased 1.53 percent to 44.39 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 7 decreased .12 percent to 46.95 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 8 increased .93 percent to 47.41 percent proficiency.


    • Grade 3 increased .68 percent to 48.25 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 4 increased .85 percent to 41.56 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 5 increased 2.01 percent to 35.86 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 6 increased 1.6 percent to 31.90 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 7 increased 2.34 percent to 31.42 percent proficiency;
    • Grade 8 increased 12.07 percent to 29.57 percent proficiency.

    “The trends that are visible over the last three years of testing the Smarter Balanced assessments show a consistent increase in elementary math and middle school ELA,” Canavero said. “This year shows an increase in middle school math after two years of relatively flat performance and a substantial increase in elementary ELA.”

    Preliminary results data on the 2018 Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA and math for grades three through eight have been provided to districts for their review along with the preliminary Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) star ratings for 2017-18. Smarter Balanced results data will be incorporated in the 2017-2018 Nevada School Performance Framework in multiple ways—in elementary and middles schools as academic achievement, student growth, and opportunity gaps. These results will provide the indicator of academic achievement for elementary and middle school proficiency which also includes students who passed the state assessment in science. Additionally, in service to the state’s Read by Grade 3 goal, elementary schools will include a measure of third grade academic proficiency on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessment.

    Student growth is a measure of student progress over time and is a measure of student performance in ELA and math when compared to students will similar score histories—referred to as a student growth percentile. From this student growth number, it is possible to tell if a student is on track to continue passing or to pass the state test in the future--referred to as adequate growth. Both of these measures on the ELA and math assessments are the measures in the growth indicator in the NSPF.

    The opportunity gap indicator is the percentage of students meeting their adequate growth targets who did not pass the state assessment in ELA or math in the prior year. This indicator shows the percentage of students who were not successful in the prior year, but are now on track to proficiency.


    Greg Bortolin
    Public Information Officer