Sununu signs school assessment test opt-out

May 30, 2018
assessment test opt-out

Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 1744, which gives parents and guardians the right to opt students out of statewide assessment tests.

HB 1744 states that a school cannot penalize a student that opts out. The bill also prohibits the state from penalizing a school district that has a lower participation rate in statewide assessment tests.

Bill supporters argue that parents have the right to guide the education of their children. Statewide assessment tests have been criticized for many reasons, including their reliance on Common Core curriculum.

Senate passes assessment opt-out

Apr 20, 2018
assessment test opt-out

On Thursday, April 19 the state Senate passed a bill that allows parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests, without penalty.

The bill, HB 1744, now heads to Gov. Chris Sununu for his signature or veto.

Demand for a law to opt-out

State law requires each school district to administer assessment tests at least once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school. These assessment tests are used to evaluate school performance.

NH gets strong rating for school accountability

Nov 20, 2017

According to a new ranking from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, New Hampshire is one of just eight states with a strong accountability system for state schools.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is a conservative nonprofit thinktank focused on education policy.

The Institute evaluated state accountability systems for schools in three categories:

Lower standardized test scores in NH

Oct 25, 2017

New Hampshire has the final results for last year's standardized assessment tests, and students in grades 3 through 8 scored lower in both math and English.

Are students and teachers failing?

Overall there was a 3% decline in students scoring proficient in English, and a 2% decline in math.

At first glance, it seems there was a shortcoming in teaching last year. Usually scores improve year over year as students and teachers become more familiar with a test.

Common Core assessment opt-out?

Jan 03, 2017

Rep. J.R. Hoell is sponsoring a 2017 bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests. 

Federal law requires states to track school performance with assessment tests. New Hampshire uses the Smarter Balanced Assessment based on Common Core curriculum.

Critics of the Smarter Balanced Assessment argue the test is not a valid measure of learning, wastes classroom time, and is biased against English language learners.

Feds approve NH’s alternative to standardized tests

Oct 07, 2016

The federal Department of Education has approved another year for New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) Pilot assessments.

The PACE pilot program replaces all but three annual assessment tests with tasks and projects that are integrated with classwork.

Statewide SAT results show some gaps

Aug 29, 2016

As students prepare to return to school, the state Department of Education released preliminary results for last year's statewide SAT test. 

Last year New Hampshire replaced the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessment with the SAT.

Overall 67% of students met College and Career Readiness (CCR) Benchmark in English language arts. 41% met the CCR Benchmark in mathematics.

Statewide arts testing?

Aug 16, 2016

Several New Hampshire school districts are piloting assessment tests in the arts.

The tests are part of the move towards competency-based education, in which students demonstrate their mastery of a subject through projects that are integrated with classwork. 

New Hampshire aims to replace some standardized tests with competency-based assessments.

Bill would let parents opt kids out of statewide assessments

Apr 20, 2016

HB 1338, a bill which recently passed the House and is now being considered by the Senate Education Committee, would allow parents to opt their children out of statewide standardized tests for any reason without a penalty.

The bill also specifies that the state Department of Education and Board of Education cannot penalize any school or district for having a lower rate of participation in testing.

Similar laws have been passed in several states.

Smarter Balanced results are in

Nov 13, 2015

On November 12 the New Hampshire Department of Education released the 2015 results for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the national test associated with the Common Core curriculum.

New Hampshire students scored above the national average in every grade and subject tested.

The results suggest there is still room for improvement in math education, however. New Hampshire 11th graders scored just above the national average, for example.

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