Largest Number of Students Taking Assessments Statewide

Immediate Release


Greg Bortolin


Carson City, NV - April 28, 2016

LAS VEGAS, NV – Online End-of-Course (EOC) exams in English Language Arts and Math are being administered this week throughout Nevada. Statewide assessments hit their highest daily totals on April 27 with more than 47,891 students participating on the Smarter Balance Summative Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), the EOC assessments, and the Science grades 5 and 8 assessments.

“We have worked hard with our new testing vendor to address what didn’t work last year and we’re cautiously optimistic that our students will be better served,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Smarter Balanced test is connected to classroom instruction and matches the skills and content students are learning and practicing in the classroom on a daily basis. It focuses on the critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills students need to become career and college ready.”

Both the Science grades 5 and 8 test and the Smarter Balanced Summative CAT English Language Arts and Math Assessments began in early March. The EOC exams in English Language Arts I and II as well as the Math I and II began on Monday and will run through May 20. The Class of 2019 will be the first class of students required to receive a passing score on the EOCs to graduate.

With the Smarter Balanced CAT, the EOCs, and the Science tests all happening this week, the number of students testing has grown significantly over previous weeks.

Currently more than 13,593 students have completed one of the ELA or Math EOC exams, more than 494,700 sections of the Smarter Balanced assessments have been completed, and more than 26,746 students in grades 5 and 8 have completed their science exam.

While these tests were first given in the spring of 2015, computer-related problems prevented the majority of Nevada students from completing the test, and many students did not receive a score report. Nevada’s Department of Education worked with a new vendor, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), this year and so far testing has run much more smoothly.

Peter Zutz, who oversees Assessment, Data & Accountability Management in the Department of Education, said the new testing vendor, DRC, has handled a few necessary content updates within a day of issues being identified. On Tuesday, an error in the vendor’s server memory led to a delay in testing. The server was replaced and testing was back on track by midday Tuesday.

The Smarter Balanced Assessments allow Nevada students to demonstrate their knowledge of the skills necessary for success in college and career readiness. The computer adaptive format and on-line administration of these assessments provide educators, students and parents’ meaningful results with actionable information to help students succeed.