Each March, public schools in Nevada are required, pursuant to the School Accountability Law (NRS 385.347), to produce an annual accountability report and provide the report to parents and other residents of the district. School districts must then submit a report on or before June 15 of each year that summarizes the effectiveness of the accountability program and describes efforts made by the districts to correct deficiencies noted in the schools’ reports.
In an effort to facilitate comparisons and analysis of school accountability information, the Legislative Bureau of Educational Accountability and Program Evaluation compiles the School Accountability Data Tables annually from the information provided in the accountability reports of the seventeen school districts. The current issue of the Data Tables includes the information required by the law revised during the 1999 Legislative Session.
The Data Tables is divided into three sections: District, Elementary and Secondary information. Each section contains information regarding school/district characteristics (i.e., teachers, classrooms, fiscal, etc.) as well as statewide testing results. Two years of data (1998-99 and 1999-2000) are provided for most data elements on school/district characteristics, while only one year of data (1999-2000) are available for the new data elements required by the 1999 Legislature.
In Nevada, there are three statewide examinations mandated by the Legislature: a norm-referenced examination for grades 4, 8 and 10, a writing examination for grades 4 and 8, and a high school proficiency examination.
· Norm-referenced Examination
In compliance with the legislative requirement of statewide examinations, the State Board of Education adopted TerraNova, a product of CTB/McGraw-Hill, as the statewide norm-referenced examination in 1996. The examination covers the subject areas of reading, language, math and science. Since the 1997-98 school year, results of this examination are utilized for school designation.
The current issue of the Data Tables includes TerraNova test results for the 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 school years. Because the Nevada Department of Education supplies the Bureau with the information on the statewide TerraNova examination received from the testing company, the data presented in the Data Tables with regard to TerraNova may not, in some cases, be identical to those reported in school/district accountability reports. Further, because the percentage of eligible students tested on TerraNova was added to the school designation criteria in the 1999-2000 school year, the number and the percentage of students tested, exempted and special tested (1998-99, 1999-00 and 2000-01) are also published in the Data Tables based on the information received via the Nevada Department of Education.
The State Writing Examination was developed by Nevada teachers and was first administered at grade 8 during the 1994-95 school year; grade 4 was added during the 1998-99 school year. Three years of data are provided for the 4th and 8th Grade Writing Examinations (1998-99, 1999-00 and 2000-01). The State Writing Examination has also been administered to 11th grade students and certain 12th grade students who did not pass the examination as 11th graders as a section of the High School Proficiency Examination (HSPE). The results for the State Writing Examination for high school students are presented with the results of the HSPE.
The High School Proficiency Examination covers the subject areas of reading, math and writing. Beginning with the Class of 1999, pupils were required to pass a new, more rigorous high school proficiency examination in reading and mathematics in order to receive a standard high school diploma. The new examinations are based upon the Courses of Study adopted by the State Board of Education in 1994. The new exams were first given to juniors in April of 1998; the next class (Class of 2000) first took the new exams in October of 1998; students are generally allowed to retake the exam up to five times if they do not pass the exam the first time.
Passing scores for the examination are set by the State Board of Education. Assembly Bill 523 of the 1997 Legislative Session directed the State Board of Education to set a “moderate” passing score for the first class to take the new examination (Class of 1999) and to increase the score to a higher level for pupils to who the examination is administered during subsequent years. The passing scores for the Class of 1999 were a scaled score of 61 on the mathematics test and 70 on the reading test; the Class of 2000 and 2001 must obtain scaled scores of 64 on mathematics and 71 on reading. The passing score on the writing portion of the examination remains unchanged at 7 for all three years. Three years of data on the HSPE are included in the Data Tables (1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000).
Since the Nevada Legislature enacted the School Accountability Law in 1993, many revisions to the law have been passed in subsequent legislative sessions. To comply with the School Accountability Law as revised, data elements in the Data Tables are adjusted periodically. The following chart summarizes the changes to the current issue of the Data Tables:
Data Elements Added
Data Elements Modified
Data Elements Eliminated
· Total Expenditures Per Pupil
· Before/After/Summer School
· % Pupils Credit Deficient (Grade 9)
· Habitual Disciplinary Problems
· % Pupils Proficient in All Writing
Traits (Grades 4 and 8)
· High School Completion Indicators
· Degrees Received by Teachers
· Teaching Experience
· % Pupils with 10 Day Unexcused Absences
Note: For detailed information regarding the data elements, please refer to the “Data Elements” section.
The staff of the Legislative Bureau of Educational Accountability and Program Evaluation wishes to thank Dr. David L. Smith, Bill Arensdorf, Carol Crothers and Joan Taylor of the Nevada Department of Education for their assistance in providing information with regard to statewide examinations and state remediation expenditures. The Bureau also wishes to extend special thanks to the accountability and testing staff in all seventeen school districts for their assistance in preparing the Data Tables.
For additional copies of the Data Tables, please contact the Legislative Bureau of Educational Accountability and Program Evaluation at: (775) 684-6821. The Data Tables is also available in the Bureau’s website: