Area schools score above state average |

Area schools score above state average

While both major high schools in western Nevada County vastly outranked the state average in recent 10th-grade testing, Bear River High School’s score dropped slightly, while Nevada Union’s rose slightly.

“I’m happy to see a very high percentage of our sophomores do as well as they do in their first attempt at the exit exams,” Ralf Swenson, superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District, said Tuesday. “I’m impressed to do so much better than the statewide average.”

The statewide average pass rate 76 percent in math and 78 percent in English last year. The percentages usually don’t change much on a yearly basis, he added.

At Nevada Union High School, pass rates among sophomores rose from 95 percent last year to 96 percent this year in math, and from 92 percent to 94 percent in English, Swenson said.

At Bear River High School, the pass rates among sophomores in dipped from 96 percent last year to 94 percent this year in math, and from 97 percent to 94 percent in English, he added.

“When you are looking at percentages at smaller schools like Bear River, a small number of students can affect the percentages,” Swenson said. “I’m sure they are concerned (about the scores).”

Bear River Principal Jim Nieto said he did not have enough information Tuesday to comment on the scores.

Local high schools soon will receive in-depth reports on each student’s performance from the state, Swenson said. That’s when educators will be able to address specific areas where students performed poorly, he added.

At Silver Springs High School, pass rates jumped from 55 percent last year to 67 percent this year in math, and from 59 percent to 70 percent in English, Swenson said.

Sophomores who couldn’t pass the state exit exams in March will have up to six more chances before graduation day in 2010, Swenson said.

Students will be able to take special classes to mend their skills so they can pass the California High School Exit Exam in math and English. All students must pass the test to graduate.

The exit exam test scores came in Monday, based on district-wide testing of sophomores.

To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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