Nevada fell short of the 95% testing threshold required of states by No Child Left Behind. Falling short would be an understatement. Nevada’s roll out of Smarter Balanced was an epic disaster.
The Las Vegas Sun reports:
Only 5 percent of students in Clark County were able to take the new Smarter Balanced Assessment this year. Statewide, 30 percent of students took the test.
That’s nowhere near the 95 percent test participation required by the federal government.
The failure of the new test this year was the result of technical problems encountered by schools across the state, especially in Clark County.
Because the test is taken online, the large number of students logging in at one time caused the servers of Measured Progress, the state-contracted testing company, to crash.
The outages prevented so many students from taking the test that the Clark County School District simply stopped testing altogether. After that, testing continued relatively smoothly for the rest of the state.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan however has given Nevada a pass and won’t withhold funds even though they are in clear violation of the law.
Because that would be embarrassing, but I doubt he’ll be as charitable if a state or school failed to reach the threshold due to opt-outs.