Concord, NH – Commissioner of Education, Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., announced today New Hampshire (NH) students participating in the 2015-16 statewide assessment program showed improvement in all categories. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding achievement level benchmarks increased 3 percent in both English language arts/evidenced based reading and writing and mathematics. This improvement can be attributed to the dedication of NH educators and hard work of students as they progress toward college and career readiness in a competency-based education system.
For the first time, NH is providing accountability data for those schools and districts who are participating in Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE), integrated into the state-level overall accountability information. Commissioner Barry commented, “The results of NH’s first-in-the-nation innovative assessment and accountability pilot demonstrates that NH educators can fully participate in and manage their accountability and assessment system with state level support and review. Rigorous comparability studies completed by the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment in Dover, NH, show that assessment results produced by NH educators are as rigorous in evaluating student performance as state or national assessments.”
In addition, for the first time, NH grade 11 students participated in the College Board’s School Day SAT as a part of the statewide assessment program. The move to SAT was part of the state’s effort to reduce testing burden and give all grade 11 students the opportunity to participate in a college-entrance exam. The feedback from students, parents and educators has been overwhelming positive. Commissioner Barry stated, “I appreciate the support the state has received from all of our stakeholders, including our state and local policymakers in making the transition to SAT possible.”
Moreover, NH is a leader in innovative educational practices. This is accomplished through an integrated learning system promoting personalized instruction and equitable access to a quality education that prepares students to be confident and competent learners. The NH Department of Education recognizes achievement level gaps exist within the state’s subgroup populations and prioritized technical assistance to educators as they work to eliminate these gaps. The 2015-16 results demonstrate continued progress in these efforts.