Douglas students do well on proficiency |

Douglas students do well on proficiency

More Douglas County students passed the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination on the first try than students statewide.

Juniors took the test for the first time in October. Statewide, 50.9 percent of the juniors passed the math test compared to 70.2 percent of Douglas County juniors.

The math scores have consistently gone up over the past three years.

In Douglas County last year, 65.5 percent of the junior class passed the math test while in 1998, 64.3 percent of Douglas juniors passed.

Statewide, 50 percent of juniors passed the math test last year while in 1998, 49.1 percent of juniors passed.

Janice Florey, who is in charge of testing for the district, said next year the math test will be more difficult.

“It will reflect the 1998 content and performance standards, whereas, over past three years, the test has reflected the 1994 state standards. All districts across the state are now teaching to 1998 standards. I think we are prepared because we have been requiring the integrated math class,” Florey said. “It addresses most of the algebra and geometry problems you would find on the proficiency test. If kids fare pretty well on the integrated test, they should be successful.”

n Seniors. Florey said of the 34 seniors who did not pass the reading proficiency test during their junior year, half passed the test in October. The 17 who are left can take the test again in February and April. Students must pass all parts of the test before they are allowed to graduate. The third part of the test, the writing portion, is administered at a different time than the reading and math portions. Statewide, 32 percent of seniors passed the reading test in October.

Florey said 37 Douglas County seniors still need to pass the math test after 23 seniors passed it in October. Statewide, 23 percent of seniors passed the math test.

Florey said Douglas High School is continuing the before-school and after-school math classes for students still trying to pass the math test.

Florey said the seniors this year are more on track than last year’s senior class.

“There are fewer seniors who still need to pass at this time than at the same time last year,” Florey said.

n Reading. The Douglas County reading test scores, while still higher than the statewide average, continue to decline.

This year, 74.3 percent of juniors passed the reading test, while only 66.1 percent of the juniors statewide passed it.

Last year, 78.4 percent of the Douglas juniors passed the test, while 85.3 percent of Douglas juniors passed the test in 1998.

The trend is reflected statewide, and Florey said no one is sure why.

In 1999, 68.5 percent of juniors statewide passed the reading test, while in 1998, 73.3 percent of students did.

Florey said the test is supposed to be similar in difficulty from year-to-year.

“The passing score has been at 71; the same for three years. They do an equating study so it is of similar difficulty,” Florey said.

Florey said all the credit for Douglas’ continued high passing percentages goes to the teachers.

“I think our teachers really looked at the needs of the students and acknowledged the standards are being raised and are providing the instruction that students need to be successful,” she said.

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