Clark County schools tighten student testing protocols

Security will tighten over student test materials in Clark County public schools, due to a policy change approved by the School Board on Thursday following a state investigation that found one of its Las Vegas schools cheated on state tests.

Changes include keeping testing sign in/out sheets and documenting all individuals present in any classroom during the annual administration of Nevada’s criterion referenced tests, given in third through eighth grade in reading, writing, math and sometimes science. School principals will be required to “take full responsibility” for how tests are given and stored in a school.

The lengthy revisions to Clark County School District’s procedures for giving and securing standardized tests come after the Nevada Department of Education asserted in April that adults cheated at Kelly Elementary School, near Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards, by changing students’ answers to improve test scores.

The state’s investigatory report didn’t name any culprits but placed blame on Kelly’s principal and assistant principal for failure to follow test security procedures as mandated under state law, allowing an undetermined number of people access to test answers without following the school’s test security plan.

Critics of the state’s report condemning Kelly, however, found no concrete evidence of cheating as the state asserted, only an inordinate amount of erasures on multiple-choice tests.

The union for Clark County School District administrators called for the district, which suspended Kelly’s principal and assistant principal, to bring them back to work and lift the blame off their shoulders for test security issues.

The union placed blame on the district and state for having unclear test security policies.

The union also pointed out that district testing procedures sometimes conflict with state rules.

District officials said Thursday’s changes were made to “clarify” testing and security policies, also fixing any differences after comparing the district’s procedures with those of the Nevada Department of Education.

Contact Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Follow @TrevonMilliard on Twitter.