Sophomores Struggle With State's Math Test - 8 News NOW

Sophomores Struggle With State's Math Test

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LAS VEGAS -- Thousands of Clark County high school sophomores just learned they didn't pass this year's state math exam.

Although some schools had more than 70 percent of students passing, other schools had very few students earning an adequate score on the crucial state test.

The school district said test preparation is the best way to improve these scores.

Some of the district's highest performing non-technical schools scored as high as 59 percent, such as Coronado High School.

Sunrise Mountain scored as low as 9 percent.

District representatives said they expected the low scores.

West Career Tech is a school where more than 70 percent of the students are passing the state math test, but as a tech academy, they've got a lot of resources.

Teachers there said extra tutoring, weekend test prep and extra practice tests are all available for students.

Many of the students already show a big interest in math.

Teachers said those who don't need the help, often come to tutoring anyway.

"They show up because they want to feel comfortable when they take that test," said Barbara Pratt, head of West Career Tech's math department.

Not every school did so well.

The reason? District representatives said the state test is much harder to pass this year.

Students had to score a 300, instead of last year's 240 score.

A district spokesperson said they are not concerned about the lower pass rates.

But what does it take to succeed without lots of extra resources?

Three non-tech schools may have the answers. Sandy Valley, Boulder City and Coronado high schools scored between 45 and 59 percent.

Student Tony Porrino said what he saw on the math test was very familiar.

"It was definitely everything I've seen before and it was really easy," he said.

Another Coronado student said test prep played a huge role in his passing score.

"A week before the proficiencies they'll tell you everything you need, focus on that specifically," student Ian Palmer said.

The students said that's the only way to avoid any surprises come state test day.

For the students that fail, they still have plenty of opportunities to take the state math test: two additional times as a junior and four times as a senior.

The district said taking it as a sophomore is the easiest way to work on key trouble areas prior to graduation.

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