NH assessment results align with nationwide trends
CONCORD, NH — Nationwide assessment results from the spring of 2021 have underscored the many challenges facing educators and students throughout the global pandemic, and New Hampshire’s individual test scores were also impacted by the disruptions.
Participation rates dropped significantly in the spring of 2021 as about 73,406 New Hampshire students completed the assessment tests for math; this number was closer to 91,050 in 2019. For reading, participation numbers also dropped from about 90,785 participating in 2019 and 72,880 participating in 2021. Science participation, which is administered in fewer grade levels, was about 37,720 in 2019 and 28,495 in 2021.
Statewide, about 38 percent of students scored proficient or above proficient in math for 2021, compared to 48 percent in 2019. Statewide, about 52 percent scored proficient or above proficient in reading for 2021, compared to 56 percent in 2019. The science scores showed a statewide average of 37 percent proficient or above proficient, compared to 39 percent in 2019. (There were no spring assessment tests in spring of 2020 because of COVID-19.)
“The impact to math scores was noticeably larger than for ELA scores. New Hampshire’s results in ELA are some of the smallest decreases we have seen nationally, which is good,” said Scott Marion, executive director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, a Dover-based technical consulting firm. “Similarly, in New Hampshire, the learning disruptions seem to be consistent across the different racial groups compared to where they started. Nationwide, however, the gap between high and low performing students tended to widen.”
“It is clear and understandable that trauma from the pandemic continues to impact schools, students and teachers. I remain incredibly proud and grateful to all of the educators who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep academics and the overall well-being of New Hampshire students a priority.” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education. “Nationwide, assessment proficiency in both reading and math has slipped in the past five years, even pre-pandemic. New Hampshire will continue to address learning loss through customized, unique and engaging learning platforms that focus on individual student achievement and success. Parents continue to have valid concerns about their children’s academic progress. Measureable improvements is a goal that we can all stay focused on and work toward.”
In New Hampshire, proficiency for ELA at the third-grade level was 44 percent in 2021, compared to 56 percent in 2016, 54 percent in 2017, 55 percent in 2018, and 52 percent in 2019. Similarly, proficiency for math at the third-grade level was 45 percent in 2021, compared to 57 percent in 2016, 55 percent in both 2017 and 2018, and 57 percent in 2019.
At the eighth-grade level in New Hampshire, proficiency for ELA was 49 percent in 2021, compared to 62 percent in 2016, 58 percent in both 2017 and 2018, and 53 percent in 2019. Proficiency for math at the eighth-grade level was 33 percent in 2021, compared to 47 percent in 2016, 46 percent in 2017, 47 percent in 2018 and 45 percent in 2019.
“In general, we know that the students who learned remotely fared worse than those who learned in-person. While everyone’s scores suffered nationwide, the test scores for those students who had in-person learning suffered less. This was generally the case in New Hampshire as well, especially in mathematics,” explained Marion.
Today, the New Hampshire Department of Education updated its iPlatform content with newly individualized report cards for each school district on iReport, which includes 2021 achievement data that is available at https://dashboard.nh.gov/t/DOE/views/iReport/FrontPage?:iid=1&:tabs=no&:isGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y&:embed=y.