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New Assessments Show Student Proficiency In Science

Fifth-graders, for the first time, are being tested in New Hampshire to see if they are meeting College and Career Ready standards.

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education has received the second section of data, featuring Grade 5, 8, and 11 Science scores, as part of its transition from the Smarter Balanced assessment to the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System (NH SAS) earlier this year. This is the first time that Science has been assessed as a subject for fifth-graders (previously, Grade 4 was assessed). The assessment is designed to measure students with the state’s College and Career Ready Science Standards.

The scoring analysis, put together by American Institutes for Research, found that 58 percent of fifth-graders were proficient or above proficient in the subject while 53 percent of eighth-graders were. For 11th-graders, it was 45 percent.

“We are pleased that students and teachers worked hard adapting to the new assessment,” Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education stated, “and, at the same time, also showed improved scores when compared to previous years.”

In late July, more than two dozen educators from around the state met in Concord to establish final “cut scores” for the Science assessment. Part of the improvement in the scores, officials believe, is due to the changes to the test that reflect subjects students are actually learning.

“This was an exciting process that brought together enthusiastic teachers and administrators dedicated to science education in our schools,” said Julie Couch, a bureau administrator for the New Hampshire Department of Education. “The participants asked thoughtful questions of one another, were respectful of the different perspectives, and ultimately made collaborative decisions when determining the appropriate science achievement levels for the students in our state. We are incredibly fortunate to have such committed teachers and administrators in our schools.”

English Language Arts and Math disciplines were released last month and showed stabilized and improved proficiency rates for students during the transition.

Read the full AIR executive summary of the Science results in .pdf. here. Acrobat Reader

View the charts associated with Science results here in .pdf. Acrobat Reader

Read the full AIR report from the English Language Arts and Math here.

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

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