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NH Performance Assessment Network

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) has partnered withthe National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) and the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) 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 (NH 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.

NH PACE includes:

  • 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 original PACE implementing districts (Tier 1) are Sanborn Regional, Rochester, Epping and Souhegan. As of Fall 2015, several districts had joined the implementing cohort in addition to the four above: Monroe, Concord, Seacoast Charter School, and Pittsfield. In Fall 2016, SAU 35 (Profile) joined the implementation Tier 1 of NH PACE.

A second cohort of schools and districts are engaged in Tier 2, developing and practiing performance assessment through focused professional development with group and individual coaching: Allenstown, Deerfield Community School, Newport, Groveton, SAU 23 (No. Haverhill), Amherst and Mount Vernon, Fall Mountain, Plymouth Elementary, Parker-Varney School - Manchester, and Rollinsford,.

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 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 general, 5 days of institute training with school/district teams include a two-day statewide summer institute 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 throughout the year.

The online NH Network Platform, offers opportunites to connect on various aspects of performance assessment and competency education through an online format. NH DOE has partnered with 2Revolutions to offer an intensive blended learning opportunity for educators and administrators on the state model Work-Study Practices (Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, and Self-Direction). This course combines online learning with school-based coaching and offers an engaging way to begin application of performance assessment to competncies in the classroom and school. Teachers say: "This was so in-depth but a safe way to start - no pressure!." "It was so fun to work together as a school team. We gathered around our laptops after school and went throught the online course together in small chunks." "I learned so much and laughed so much!"

Informational slides from past webinars about the NH Performance Assessment Network

National Articles about New Hampshire's Work:

State Director NH PACE
(603) 271-6691

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