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.

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.

NH Dept. of Education announces vendor for new standardized tests

Sep 16, 2017
assessment tests

On September 13 the New Hampshire Department of Education announced that American Institutes for Research (AIR) will develop new statewide assessment tests in English and mathematics.

The assessment tests will replace the Smarter Balanced assessments, which are affiliated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

However, Common Core is still the basis of New Hampshire's education standards, so the new assessment tests will still judge how well students are mastering Common Core material.

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.

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.

Besides budget, vetoes stand

Sep 17, 2015

Yesterday the state legislature failed to override Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of the following bills:

SAT can replace state assessment

Jul 17, 2015

On Wednesday, July 15 Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed HB 323, a bill that allows high schools to replace a mandated statewide assessment with the SAT or ACT.

Prior to this bill, state and federal law required high school juniors to take the Smarter Balanced assessment based on Common Core curriculum.  Federal regulators still need to approve the change in HB 323, which is set to take effect in September.

Hassan vetoes common core opt-out

Jun 15, 2015

Last week Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed HB 603, a bill that would allow students to opt-out of statewide assessments.

The bill was motivated by opposition to the Common Core curriculum.  This year New Hampshire rolled out the Smarter Balanced assessment tests based on Common Core.

Some school boards sent a letter to parents in 2015 asserting parents' right to remove their children from the tests.  However, state and federal law requires test participation, which is linked to federal funding.

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