New Hampshire assessment results reveal academic gains
CONCORD, NH — Recent assessment scores are showing an acceleration of growth for New Hampshire students, which now highlights a slow, upward recovery trend for two consecutive years.
New Hampshire’s preliminary performance scores from 2023 indicate modest improvements across nearly every grade level in math and reading, except for eleventh-grade SAT scores.
“New Hampshire is bucking national trends with new signs of academic progress coming out of our spring 2023 assessment. We are pleased to see indications of rebounding in academic gains for many students,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “This newest data from New Hampshire contradicts some nationwide data showing that academic recovery has stalled and reflects the hard work of our school leaders, teachers, students and families, that everyone needs to work together to close learning gaps.”
According to preliminary data from the spring 2023 New Hampshire Student Assessment System (NHSAS), students in grades three through eight improved slightly or remained static in their English assessment scores, with higher grade levels (seventh and eighth grade) showing a five percent improvement in proficiency levels. Preliminary figures indicate that math assessment scores narrowly grew for grades three through eight, with most grade levels improving one or two percentage points.
In 2023, 35 percent of eighth-graders tested proficient in eighth-grade math and 39 percent of seventh-graders tested proficient in seventh-grade math compared to 45 percent proficiency in eighth-grade math pre-pandemic and 47 percent proficiency in seventh-grade math pre-pandemic. It is important to note that some grade-levels were already revealing slipping scores in their assessments prior to the pandemic.
While student performance advanced from 2022 to 2023, student growth percentiles, which measure the rate of acceleration of learning, are also improving. Using 2019 as a baseline, student growth percentiles increased in every grade level and subject area this year. SGPs above 50 describe rates of growth that are higher than what was observed in 2019, while levels below 50 describe lower rates of growth than 2019.
“This is promising data, as it confirms that students are accelerating their growth, despite not returning to pre-pandemic levels of achievement. While this may still be falling short of our aspirations, especially in areas of math where progress needs to advance in order to fully close the learning gaps, these gains are noteworthy and encouraging,” said Edelblut. “We know that recovery has been challenging. With unprecedented additional funding to schools in COVID-relief aid, coupled with advice and insight from educational professionals nationwide, the academic rebound throughout the country has been sluggish. Here, in New Hampshire, we seem to be better off, which should provide us all with hope.”
While NHSAS scores showed modest growth, New Hampshire’s 2023 SAT scores declined from the previous year. According to preliminary data, the junior class (those students now entering their senior year) scored 35 percent proficient in math compared to 37 percent in 2022 and 42 percent in 2021. The SAT data reveals slight declines in reading proficiency in 2023 with 60 percent proficiency compared to 61 percent proficiency in 2022 and 63 percent proficiency in 2021.
In 2023, New Hampshire’s average reading score on the SAT was 506 compared to 511 in 2022. The average math score for 2023 was 488 compared to 492 in 2022.
Individual school and district data for both the NHSAS and SAT results will be released in the fall through the iPlatform system; parents had previous access to their child’s scores.