State Assessments &Testing


Overview

Statewide testing is important because it helps ensure all public school students, no matter where they go to school, receive a quality education. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) develops or selects and administers all state assessments. The results of these assessments are reported by the Department to parents, students, schools, and districts and can be found on the annual Nevada Report Card, released each fall. This data help districts and schools decide which teaching practices and curricula best support student understanding of the Nevada Academic Content Standards. They also give families valuable information about how well their child is doing and where additional help might be needed.
Nevada students are tested regularly by the state to assess their progress as they move through school. In high school, students must pass specific exit exams, or state-approved alternatives, to be eligible to receive a high school diploma. (Assessment is one of the graduation requirements).

Required State Tests Beginning in SY14-15 include:

Smarter Balanced Assessments:  Nevada's new computer-based criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) in English language arts (ELA) and math for grades 3-8 
Science CRT:  paper and pencil science tests for grades 5 and 8 
High School End of Course (EOC) Exams: tests taken when students finish certain high school math and English courses 
High School Science Exam: Science test for grade 10 
College and Career Readiness Assessment: the ACT test for grade 11  
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Assessments: for CTE students who complete a CTE program course sequence in high school

High School Proficiency Exame (HSPE)

The High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) is being phased out: Students in the Class of 2016 (11th graders in school year 2014-15) will be the last class of high school students required to pass each subject of the HSPE. These students took the writing section of the HSPE for the first time in fall 2014 and will have the opportunity to retake any other sections they have not passed throughout their high school career. The last HSPE tests will be administered in summer 2016 to provide the graduating class of 2016 with every opportunity to pass the HSPE. The HSPE will continue to be administered beyond summer 2016 for certain student populations (i.e., special education and adult education students).

State Assessments for Special Populations

Nevada Alternate Assessment (NAA): administered to students with an Individual Education Program (IEP)
English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA): administered to students identified as “Limited English Proficient.” This assessment tests reading, writing, listening and speaking knowledge and skills. 
National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)a national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states. Federal law requires every state to give the NAEP in reading and math at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding to aid educationally disadvantaged students in high poverty areas must participate in these assessments. Other subjects also are tested.