School district improves in statewide test scores |

School district improves in statewide test scores

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

State exam scores released at Tuesday night’s school board meeting show Carson City students improved from last year and beat state averages in every category, except a few sub-groups.

“We did well this year,” said Dr. Mary Pierczynski, superintendent for the Carson City School District. “And we’re pleased with the results that we got. Our teachers have been working hard to improve the test scores in the district, especially in the areas of math. We’re beginning to see some results. And we’re very pleased and appreciative of the work our teachers and our administrators are doing.”

Test scores in third-, fifth- and eighth-grade reading and math and high school reading, writing and math are used for federal No Child Left Behind designations.

In all these areas, the district tested higher than the state average. The highest difference occurred in eighth-grade reading, in which 65 percent of local students tested proficient, compared with 51 percent statewide. The smallest difference occurred in fifth-grade math, in which 55 percent of district students tested proficient, compared with 54 percent statewide.

The exam results are districtwide and do not reflect the specific scores at each school – a separate component on which No Child Left Behind is judged. The district tested proficient in every area.

Carson City’s students showed improvement over last year’s scores in all the areas, except for fifth-grade reading, in which the number of proficient students dropped by 2 percent, and eighth-grade reading, in which the number of proficient students stayed the same.

The district still surpassed the required proficiency rates in those areas by 5.4 percent and 17.5 percent.

The most significant increases occurred in third-grade reading, in which 11 percent more students tested proficient compared with last year, and on the high school math proficiency, in which 10 percent more students tested proficient.

“We don’t know how we did (on No Child Left Behind),” Pierczynski said. “(Thie is) one of the pieces of the pie.”

Designations for No Child Left behind are released by the state Department of Education in August.

The district proficiency results at the high school level show students at Pioneer High School, the district’s alternative-education school with approximately a student body of 100, made large jumps in math and English.

“Pioneer High School had a huge increase in their test scores, and I’m really proud of them,” Pierczynski said. “And when I say huge increase, they went up about 32 percentage points in both reading and math.”

Individual school results must be processed before determining whether each will meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

• Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at or 881-1219.

Proficiency test results

Third-grade reading: 51 percent of students tested proficient in the state; 56 tested proficient in the district

Third-grade math: 50 percent in state; 55 percent in district

Fifth-grade reading: 39 percent in state; 45 percent in district

Fifth-grade math: 54 percent in state; 55 percent in district

Eighth-grade reading: 51 percent in state; 65 percent in district

Eighth-grade math: 51 percent in state; 60 percent in district

High school reading: 78 percent in state, 85 percent in district

High school math: 46 in state; 56 in district

– Source: Carson City

School District