Here in New Hampshire, it’s easy to lose perspective on how important the PACE pilot program is. Years in preparation, it is the nation’s first step beyond standardized testing. The four participating districts – Sanborn, Rochester, Epping and Souhegan – are doing hard creative work that will clear the way for other districts in New Hampshire and eventually throughout the country.
That’s why Kentucky education commissioner said,
“Thank God for New Hampshire.”
So said Terry Holliday, commissioner of education in Kentucky, this week at a summit meeting sponsored by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. He was referring to the Granite State’s accountability system, which recently won approval from the U.S. Department of Education.
New Hampshire’s system is a pilot, in four districts. In it, the districts will administer a statewide summative test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, in only certain grades–third (in English language arts), fourth (in mathematics), eighth (in both subjects), and eleventh (in both subjects). In the intervening grades, the state will administer extended performance tasks. In addition, districts will administer locally developed performance assessments in science in all grades.
The purpose of this effort is to support the competency-based system New Hampshire began nearly a decade ago. Educators in the state have long recognized that the assessments that measure if students can demonstrate required competencies are not included in traditional accountability metrics.
read the rest at ‘Thank God for New Hampshire’ – Learning Deeply – Education Week.