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Will New Hampshire be Arne Duncan’s test case for the next generation of accountability in American education?

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If you had any doubt about New Hampshire’s preeminent role in the national discussion about the future of American education, this piece in Education Week – the education policy publication of record – will put it in perspective for you.  The article gives an accurate picture of the status of the State’s efforts to gain federal approval for the PACE pilot program that strives to replace standardized tests with personalized student projects.  However it comes out, the waiver proposal is credible in Washington, D.C. and watched closely around the country because NHDOE and the districts have put years of hard thinking into coming up with better ways to help students learn.

The Granite State, which has been experimenting with competency-based learning for years, is proposing a very small pilot project, in four of its roughly 84 districts. Those districts would test students every year. But, in some grades or subjects, they would use the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, and in other grades or subjects they would use performance-based exams. These tests, known as PACE assessments in New Hampshire, are designed by the state and local districts in collaboration, Paul Leather, the deputy commissioner of education, said in an interview.

Both the PACE and Smarter Balanced tests would be supplemented with other, locally-developed performance-based assessments. And the whole system would be aligned to teacher evaluation in the state, Leather added.

The idea is to provide educators with “richer, deeper information than we’re able to get through large scale state assessments,” Mr. Leather said. (I previewed the proposal in an earlier story on testing.)

…read the whole thing at Will New Hampshire Be Arne Duncan’s ‘Test Case’ for Accountability 2.0? – Education Week.


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