Board of Education: Class of 2018 first group exempted from current proficiency exams

The class of 2018 will be the first group of Nevada students not required to take the state’s current proficiency exams.

Students who are incoming freshmen or older this coming school year still have to take the four exams to earn a high school diploma.

The State Board of Education clarified the matter Thursday because the question has been raised repeatedly in the aftermath of the Legislature’s decision to phase out the existing proficiency exams in math, science, reading and writing.

The state has required for years that students pass all four proficiency exams to earn a diploma. However, the Nevada Legislature decided two days before the school year ended on June 5 that the exams, criticized for being out of alignment with curriculum, will end in the 2014-15 school year.

Four new exams, also required for graduation, will be introduced. But the Legislature didn’t say what to do for high school students caught in the transition.

The rationale behind the board’s decision: It’s bad policy, perhaps illegal, to change students’ graduation requirements midway through high school.

The new exams will be in math and writing/reading, but not science.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.