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NH Performance Assessment Network

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) has partnered with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) to develop capacity in school districts for the use of performance assessment to build and measure student mastery of college and career ready competencies. The NHDOE policy requiring all high school courses to be aligned to local competencies is one step the state has already taken to foster new practices of assessment that promote and assess “deeper levels of understanding important academic content and skills.”

As a part of this work, the NHDOE is developing a state-wide performance assessment system that will balance local control with state-wide accountability and comparability. This system, the Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) option, will build on New Hampshire’s competency work, including the development of statewide college and career ready competencies, and will be one component of the New Hampshire student assessment system.

PACE will include:

  • common performance tasks that have high technical quality,
  • locally designed performance tasks with guidelines for ensuring high technical quality,
  • regional scoring sessions and local district peer review audits to ensure sound accountability systems and high inter-rater reliability,
  • a web-based bank of local and common performance tasks, and
  • a regional support network for districts and schools.

The four PACE implementing districts are Sanborn Regional, Rochester, Epping and Souhegan.

Executive Summary: Enriching New Hampshire's Assessment and Accountability Systems through Quality Performance Assessment. Acrobat Reader

The foundational principles of this initiative are:

  • New Hampshire’s educational system should provide students with real opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and work-study practices necessary for all students to graduate from high school college-and-career ready, pursue meaningful post-secondary options and to become productive citizens of New Hampshire and the world.
  • New Hampshire’s student assessment system should promote and measure knowledge, skills, and dispositions in ways that provide feedback for improvement of student and system learning.
  • Performance assessments are a vehicle for encouraging the teaching and learning of meaningful content and skills
  • New Hampshire’s system of educator support should build the capacity of educators to engage students in the learning of meaningful knowledge and skills
  • Accountability systems, including educator evaluation systems, should be built upon a foundation of a student assessment system that measures critically important student outcomes.

NH Performance Assessment Network Institute Trainings

The NH Performance Assessment Network is an exciting new multi-year initiative that engages New Hampshire’s school districts in building and implementing valid and reliable performance assessments aligned to NH state and local competencies. Performance assessments are multi-step assignment tasks with clear criteria, expectations, and processes which measure how well a student transfers knowledge and applies complex skills to create or refine an original product.

In 2014-2015, the 5 days of institute training with school/district teams included a two-day statewide summer institute on July 23-24, 2014, and three days during the school year conducted regionally. Regional meetings are hosted by participant schools, with sessions focused on sharing the host school’s approach to integrating performance assessment into teaching and learning.

Opportunities for additional support and sharing on different aspects of creating, administering, and using data from quality performance assessments occur through the online NH Network Platform (Eduplanet21), as well as regional sharing visits, and telephone/email consultation.

Informational slides from past webinars about the NH Performance Assessment Network

National Articles about New Hampshire's Work:

Paul Leather
Deputy Commissioner
(603) 271-3801

Acrobat Reader Symbol Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711