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Exceeding the Standards of NeSA

April 17, 2017

Under the 2002 law of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), states were required to test students in the areas of reading and math in grades 3–8 and once in high school. According to President George W. Bush the law would insure, “… every single child, regardless of where they live, how they’re raised, the income level of their family, every child receive a first-class education in America.”

By blending Nebraska state assessments and local assessments to fit the new standards establish by NCLB, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) was able to successfully create a series of exams that would measure academic content on the areas of reading, mathematics and science. The examination series was called STARS (School-based Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System). STARS testing provided guidance and support for teachers across the state. For public schools to receive accreditation, districts began administering national norm-referenced tests via STARTS testing. The NDE then added a writing component in grades 4, 8 and 11.

In 2010 STARS was replaced with NeSA testing. NeSA or Nebraska State Accountibility replaced all school-based assessments for purposes of local, state, and federal accountability. Still focusing in the areas of reading, mathematics and Sscience. In April of 2016, Weeping Water students grades 3-8 and 11 took part in the annual NeSA test. Nearly a year has passed since taking said exams and Weeping Water Public School’s test results are in and were well worth the wait.

The NeSA scores assess the performance levels in the following ranges:

NeSA                                                              Grades 3-8                                              Grades 5,8 and 11

Performance Level

Reading Scale Score Range

Mathematics Scale Score Range

Science Scale Score Range

Exceeds the Standards

135 and above

135 and above

135 and above

Meets the Standards

85-134

85-134

85-134

Below the Standards

84 and below

84 and below

84 and below

Scoring in the highest section of the NeSA in the areas of reading and science is sixth grader Noah Morlan. Scoring also in the highest section in reading is seventh grader Ciera Dieter, eight graders Jason Burch, Izzy Kerr, Annabell Murphy, Abigail Porter and seniors Brianna Buffington and Jake Meyer in math and Michaela Lawrence in reading. Their impressive scores of 200 brought pride and a sense of accomplishment to WWPS staff members and students.

This year WWPS juniors will not be participating in the NeSA, rather they will be taking the Nebraska Department of Education required American College Test (ACT). We are proud to end NeSA testing in the high school on such a high, prestigious note. NeSA testing for elementary students will continue throughout the spring. These students have great footsteps to follow in, as well as leave their own legacy of greatness.

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