Carson school district’s civic test pass rates still climbing

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Carson City School District’s students who participated in the 2023-24 government civics test increased this year’s pass rate to 99%, a slight uptick from last year’s 98%, according to Cheryl Macy, director of Equity in Curriculum and Instruction.

Macy reported during the Carson City School Board’s June 11 meeting the exam must be a direct match of the U.S. naturalization test adopted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security and is a requirement for high school graduation. It is required of each public high school student according to Nevada Senate Bill 322 as sponsored by Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, from the state’s 79th session in 2017.

Tests must directly match questions from the actual citizenship test, and students can receive a waiver in special circumstances, such as family or medical emergencies. To pass, students must receive at least a 60% passing rate on the test, and Trustee Mike Walker said he hoped the average scores would be higher among Carson City’s students.

“I can assure they are because they take the assessments more than once,” she said. “They take it at the beginning of the unit to see their growth and at the end.”

Macy said staff members ask students to take the test seriously even if they’re not earning academic credit for it and they generally perform well.

“Where we sometimes see students do not well is, say, in JumpStart where they see it’s not counting for their grades and they know that and so they’re just having to take it,” she said. “But I think we’ve worked with the students enough to ask them to take it seriously. It is knowledge we want students to have.”

A total of 526 students were enrolled between Carson High School, Pioneer Academy, JumpStart and online, and 515 students participated in the test, equating to a 98% participation rate. Participation in the test continues to increase in the past four years overall, Macy noted.


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