- New Hampshire is considered a national leader in the development of a student-centered system that asks all stakeholders to contribute and that applies competency-based models to emphasize a broader set of student skills.
- The Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE), though still in the pilot stages, has generated a great deal of excitement. This statewide vision of a system that supports personalized learning with student success based on mastery feeds into the state’s strategic goals.
- New Hampshire is also committed to continuously improving its system over time based on implementation and historical data.
- New Hampshire also proposes using a straightforward performance dashboard on its school report cards to communicate school performance on a focused list of accountability indicators to parents and the public, with a strong emphasis on student growth, achievement at different performance levels, and postsecondary readiness, demonstrated in multiple ways.
- New Hampshire’s embrace of innovative approaches comes with trade-offs. For example, it is unclear what assessments the state will be administering to all students in grades 3-8 in the upcoming school year, whether they are aligned with the state’s college- and career-ready standards, and whether there is comparability between the statewide test and the PACE assessments some districts will administer instead. There is particularly concern that students in non-PACE schools may not be taking statewide assessments in grades 3-8 in the coming year.
- New Hampshire’s process to identify schools also lacks sufficient information to determine how indicators are aggregated and whether the threshold is appropriate to ensure the schools most in-need, and with struggling subgroups, are identified. Once schools are identified, New Hampshire’s planned interventions lack specificity, and the state plans to distribute all of its funds intended for school improvement via formula. While respecting local decisions regarding school improvement, the state could be more concrete in its plans to provide resources, supports, and guidance on evidence-based interventions in addition to partnering with an external entity.
- Long-term goals for subgroups do not seem particularly ambitious, given the achievement gaps across the state. And the state proposes to use only the five-year graduation rate in its graduation indicator, deemphasizing on-time completion and at odds with its focus on postsecondary readiness.