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New Hampshire Leads the Way for Next Generation of Assessments

New Hampshire Leads the Way for Next Generation of Assessments

Yesterday, the Department of Education expanded New Hampshire’s pilot program for another year to now include a total of nine districts across the state. The districts are piloting what quite possibly could be the model for how "fair, effective, and accurate” measurements of student progress will look in the future.

Called the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) Pilot assessments, the trial assessment is part of the Obama Administration’s Testing Action Plan, a plan announced in October 2015 and designed to end the country’s culture of over-testing by defining what an effective assessment is once and for all.

In this plan, the administration defined seven principles that pave the way for the road to “fewer and smarter assessments.” Assessments must be:








  • Worth Taking
  • High Quality
  • Time-Limited
  • Fair – and Supportive of Fairness – in Equity in Educational Opportunity
  • Fully Transparent to Students and Parents
  • Just One of Multiple Measures
  • Tied to Improved Learning

[The full description of these principles can be found here.]


In July, the Obama Administration released another guidance designed to elaborate on provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act that, too, seek to "ensure states administer high-quality assessments that are worth taking and provide meaningful data about student success and equity, while also encouraging states and districts to continue to push the field of assessment forward through innovation.”

The Department announced that it will be selecting up to seven states to begin piloting assessments that could potentially fit the bill as the next generation of assessments.

Given the Department’s announcement, New Hampshire is ahead of the game in its work to create the future of assessments. From here, "[t]he state will report on achievement results and participation rates for each PACE District in November 2016 (for school year 2015-2016) and November 2017 (for school year 2016-2017)” and further decisions will be made from there.

Read the full announcement here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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