The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation featured an article on NH’s PACE program that, for the first time, begins to reduce the number of standardized tests students must take in their academic careers. The institute’s education research arm works to transform “monolithic, factory-model systems into student-centered designs,” so it is no wonder why they are interested in our innovative testing program. The Institute writes:
…The U.S. Department of Education made a groundbreaking decision to allow four school systems in New Hampshire to pilot a new accountability regime based on a mix of local and state assessments. This first-of-its-kind policy marks an important policy development for competency-based systems and signals a move in the right direction for federal accountability.
It’s not surprising that the state furthest along in moving to a competency-based system—in which students advance based upon mastery, rather than seat time—is leading the way to new testing regimes… The focus on competency-based education is by no means a new effort in New Hampshire… the state has been transitioning to competency-based practice for over a decade. This shift to competency-based models has been a gradual one. Despite a bold 2005 state policy mandating that high schools measure credit in terms of mastery rather than instructional time, the wide variation in implementation that persists today is largely due to the state’s strong tradition of local control.
…These experiments in assessment can lend the nation a vision of a future of testing that is both more humane and a more accurate benchmark of individual student mastery.
The full article can be found here.