Changes to Nevada high schools on horizon
Beginning in 2019, end-of-course examinations in math and English will begin holding more weight in a student’s overall grade, and new diplomas will be created focusing on either career or college readiness, according to the Nevada Department of Education.
“For the Class of 2019, the exams will count as 10 percent of a student’s final grade, increasing to 15 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2021,” their site reported.
“The exam tells us how well our students perform on a uniform assessment which is very closely aligned to the standards,” Superintendant Teri White said. “The results help our teachers modify their instruction to ensure that students are receiving instruction on the standards in courses which administer the end-of-course examinations.”
The new regulation was adopted in the 2017 legislative session as a way to try to bring up Nevada test scores.
“Douglas High School is one of the top performing schools in the state,” said White. “Our students already outperform many other schools across the state. If anything, the data from the EoC examinations will assist us as we continue our work of improving the instruction for all students in Douglas County.”
Beginning in 2015, Gov. Brian Sandoval allocated new funds in the education sector, putting nearly $500 million toward improving Nevada’s education between the 2015 and 2017 legislative sessions.
In the upcoming 2019 report, we should be able to start seeing improvements of those initiatives in an increase of Nevada’s overall national ranking. The annual survey could show proof of Nevada’s improvement in its 2019 report, if it includes fiscal year 2016 data reflecting the more recent investments in education, reported Amelia Pak-Harvey.
Amendments regarding the new testing programs were adopted from Assembly Bill 7, which includes a new version of a high school diploma called a “college and career ready high school diploma.”
In order to obtain this new diploma, a student must satisfy all criteria for a standard high school diploma with additional requirements.
A college-ready diploma reflects the student has also completed courses that show they are prepared to succeed in college.
A career-ready diploma “reflects that the pupil has completed certain coursework or obtained certain experience that makes the pupil qualified for and prepared to succeed in postsecondary job training or education in high-demand occupations,” the bill said.
It was also adopted that the state board will provide incentive grants to public high schools for each student who earns a college and career ready diploma, and can also be reimbursed for any costs associated with implementing the program, so long as funds are available.
For the graduating class of 2022 and on, it will be mandatory to successfully complete a course of study that prepares the student for either attending college or going into a specific career.
The bill also amended the statute to remove the provision that students must pass at least four end of course exams in order to graduate.
However, they are required to take the “college and career readiness assessment” to receive a diploma, but the results cannot be used in the requirements to receive a standard high school diploma.
The testing regulations do not apply to students with disabilities, as outlined in the “Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015,” the replacement for 2001’s No Child Left Behind Act.