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Statewide Transition of Assessment Goes Smoothly


Student proficiency levels on new statewide assessment remained stable or improved in math while nearly half the students improved or stayed the same in English

CONCORD, NH – A change in the New Hampshire statewide assessment system from the Smarter Balanced assessment in 2017 to the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System in 2018 went smoothly and without disruption of student learning, according to an analysis by a national nonprofit. The new assessment puts New Hampshire educators, once again, in control of student assessment, while also reducing cost and time. This has allowed teachers to spend more time on instruction and less time preparing for the assessment.

Last week, teams of educators in English Language Arts, Math, and Science disciplines, from around New Hampshire, gathered to set the final “cut scores” used to measure student attainment.

“There was some degree of anxiety around this process,” stated Julie Couch, the state assessment administrator. “Whenever there is a change in assessment, there is risk that the results will not be compatible. We spent a lot of time up front making sure we would have a comparable assessment and comparable results across the assessments. Student results show stable and continued strong results on the 2018 assessment.”

The scoring analysis – led by American Institutes for Research – showed that a high percentage of students in the proficiency levels remained stable or improved in math between Grade 3 and 8 when compared to last year, despite students transitioning to a new assessment. In English Language Arts, nearly half the students improved or stayed the same, according to the data.

“It is very good to know that our scores remained stable – and improved – as we transitioned from one assessment to another,” said Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, “We are proud of the hard work of our students and teachers.”

Couch added, “We are pleased with these results.”

The NH SAS also included, for the first time, a science assessment for Grades 5, 8 and in 11. Because this is the first year of this assessment, the results require additional time for validation and should be released within the next month.

Student assessment results provide valuable feedback to families about the performance of their children. While many schools have already sent assessment results home, families who have not yet received results for their children are encouraged to reach out to their local school.

View the NH SAS data charts and a 5-year profiency data for ELA and Math for Grades 3 to 8 here. Acrobat Reader

Read the AIR executive summary and view cut score charts here. Acrobat Reader

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


New Hampshire Department of Education
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