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Statewide Results Released for the Smarter Balanced Assessment - Scores Set New Baseline for Students’ College and Career Readiness

Commissioner of Education, Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., announced the statewide results of the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment. These results set a new baseline for how students are performing in the state and are the first to measure New Hampshire’s students’ progress toward the academic goals identified in the state’s College- and Career-Ready Standards for mathematics and English language arts. This assessment will provide a more accurate snapshot of how students are performing on a path to success after high school.

“Participating Smarter Balanced states agree that while no single assessment can give a complete picture of student achievement, annual assessments, when combined with student grades and teacher reports, can provide important information to families about their child’s progress and areas for improvement and help guide teachers in daily instructional planning,” said Commissioner Barry. “Additionally, a statewide assessment provides the public with an annual benchmark indicating how well New Hampshire schools are doing in preparing students to be college- and career- ready.”

The Smarter Balanced Assessments, which replaced the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) tests in English language arts and mathematics, were given to students in grades three through eight and grade eleven. The assessments consist of two parts. First, is an adaptive assessment taken on a computer that gives students various follow-up questions based on their answers, thereby providing a more refined picture of a student's abilities. Second, is a performance task that challenges students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems. The two parts measure depth of understanding, writing, research and problem-solving skills.

The student results on the statewide Smarter Balanced Assessment establish a new baseline that enables educators and families to know where students stand on their path to success and measures progress going forward. As such, the results of this assessment should not be compared to the previous NECAP test. As with any change, there will be a period of adjustment, as teachers and students get used to the new standards and assessments. Scores that appear lower do not mean schools are performing worse, or that students are learning less. Instead, this is a reflection of the higher standards NH adopted to ensure students achieve 21st century college and career readiness.
NH adopted the College and Career Ready Standards in 2010 as part of a comprehensive plan to raise expectations and prepare students to succeed in college and career. The new standards and assessments have widespread support from leaders in K-12 and higher education who believe they can improve college readiness

For more information about the new assessments, please go to

New Hampshire Department of Education
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