“We are particularly proud of our eighth grade students and the teachers who worked with them, stated Commissioner Barry. This class showed impressive gains in all areas, and with 78% scoring proficient or better in reading, had the best average scale score of any grade (850).”
The data provides a comprehensive view of performance in mathematics, reading, and writing based on the New Hampshire Grade-Level Expectations. The NH academic standards are embedded in the New Hampshire Curriculum Frameworks for Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The NECAP results provide the opportunity for districts, schools, and the Department to examine how effective we are in helping students achieve these standards.
“The Department continues to work with educators and constituency groups to transform NH's educational system by addressing four broad areas: Standards and Assessments, Effective Teachers and Leaders, Data Systems, and Turnaround of Struggling Schools. NECAP is a critical tool in assessing the effectiveness of these reforms at both the system level and at the student level,“ stated Commissioner Barry. She also said, “Schools that are experiencing a leveling of scores should continue their efforts to use data to inform a variety of teaching strategies that are effective and meaningful to student needs. Schools should carefully review current teaching methodologies and focus on intentional teaching directed at individual student needs particularly in the area of mathematics. “
Local Trends: Over the next few weeks, schools and districts will be examining their own data and paying particular attention to the growth of individual students and groups of students. Administrators, local school improvement teams, and teachers can also use these results to measure the effectiveness of program changes and instructional strategies they have implemented based on previous results and analyses.
There are four achievement levels of student performance on the NECAP tests. These levels describe a student's proficiency on the content and skills taught in the previous grade. Performance at Proficient (level 3) or Proficient with Distinction (level 4) indicates that the student has a level of proficiency necessary to begin working successfully on current grade content and skills. Performance at Partially Proficient (level 2) or Substantially Below Proficient (level 1) suggests that additional instruction and student practice is needed on the previous grade's content and skills.
NECAP is a collaborative partnership among New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine in grades 3-8 established in response to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which requires that all states annually measure achievement of students in grades 3-8, and in one high school grade.
While the Commissioner indicates that she is pleased with the information that the NECAP assessment provides, she offered the reminder that while the NECAP is an important measure of academic progress, it is only one of many ways that schools measure the progress of our students. In evaluating the success of students and schools, it is essential that parents, educators, and community leaders consider multiple forms of assessment, such as: community involvement, attendance, graduation rates, the number of students pursuing further education after high school, school safety issues, discipline records, and other relevant information.
All public NECAP reports for schools, districts, and the state, as well as The Guide to Interpreting the 2010 NECAP Reports can be accessed directly through the NH School District Profile site on the homepage of the NH DOE Web site. Additional resources, information, and comparative graphs and charts can be found at www.education.nh.gov/instruction/assessment/necap/index.htm.