Several Districts Demonstrate Gains on State's English Learner Assessment


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Greg Bortolin
Public Information Officer
775.687.9201
- September 12, 2018

CARSON CITY, Nev. –The number and percentage of English Learners scoring among the two highest achievement levels on Nevada’s English Language Proficiency Assessment, known as WIDA ACCESS 2.0, increased by approximately 815 students, an increase of nearly 1 percent from 2017 to 2018.

“With our English Learner (EL) population being the fastest growing student population group in Nevada, the WIDA assessment is critical to ensure that this population is receiving the supports necessary to ensure that students are reading at grade level,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Since 2015, Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature increased funding for English learners by more than $170 million through the Zoom schools program and an additional $72 million was appropriated in 2017 through Senate Bill 178.”

The overall mean performance on the WIDA has improved 0.81 points over last year with the greatest increase appearing in the 4th–5th grade cluster that improved 4.2 points. Kindergarten rose 0.2 points, Grade 1 rose 0.2 points, Grades 2–3 rose 0.2 points, Grades 6–8 fell 0.9 points and Grades 9–12 rose exactly a point. The following districts lead the state in improvement in those clusters from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018:

  • Kindergarten – Carson – a 0.8 percentage point increase over the prior year;
  • Grade 1 – Lander – a 14.3 percentage point increase over the prior year;
  • Grade 2-3 – Elko – a 2.6 percentage point increase over the prior year;
  • Grade 4–5 – Douglas – a 9.3 percentage point increase over the prior year;
  • Grade 6–8 – Nye – a 2.6 percentage point increase over the prior year;
  • Grade 9–12 – Humboldt – a 5.8 percentage point increase over the prior year.

The WIDA ACCESS 2.0 is the Nevada state assessment for EL that helps to determine their level of English Language Proficiency. The WIDA ACCESS is given during the winter to early spring each year and is used to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English. EL students reaching a specified composite score on the WIDA may exit from EL services at their school with a state goal to exit students from these services within five years.

The WIDA ACCESS 2.0 assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension with content targeting one of the following five WIDA English Language Development Standards: Social and Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science, and Language of Social Studies.

In support of Nevada’s EL program goals and to comply with federal law, student progress on the WIDA is a measure in the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF). Student progress is measured as student adequate growth, or growth to target. Specifically, the measure consists of the percentage of students who are on track to meet the state’s exit requirements within five years.

The WIDA Consortium has 39 states as members which provides an opportunity to compare results across districts and states. This language assessment, called the WIDA ACCESS, does not replace the Nevada English Language Arts tests.