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After Debacle Last Year, How Is CCSD Testing Going This Year?

Chad McDermott/

Last year, students in the Clark County School District were supposed to start taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – or SBAC – tests.

But, as most parents know, dinnertime conversation was about how the computers crashed, about how teachers had to suddenly make up lessons on the spot, and how confused even the principal was about what was going on.

Well, this year, the state has a different testing provider, and CCSD is rolling out SBAC testing across more weeks, so that kids aren’t so pressured.

Tiffany Seibel is the director of assessments at CCSD. She told KNPR's State of Nevada the SBAC results will reported to the federal government so our students can be compared to students from other states.

“Because we are all doing this, we can see how our students are doing as an entire state,” she said.

The test is aligned with the controversial Common Core standards. However, Seibel explained the standards are the same subjects taught in a new way. 

“Common Core changes up a lot of how we look at the material, but if you’re teaching mathematics you’re still teaching students how to add, multiple, subtract, divide," she said, "You’re still doing those things it’s just how we present it and how we connect it to real-world scenarios.”

The new test is also a different type of test. Instead of the sheet of paper with lettered bubbles that students fill in with a number two pencil, students are on a computer writing responses to questions. 

All of this could mean students and parents might see lower scores compared to other tests.

“It is a much different testing environment than our students have ever done so that in itself will impact how students do," Seibel said, "It is new to them.”

The test is only being given in three subjects: math, science and English-language arts. Seibel said she not sure at this point if the test results will be used for teacher evaluation.

Tiffany Seibel, director of assessments, Clark County School District 

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)