Indiana and other states looking to move away from standardized, bubble-sheet style tests are looking to New Hampshire for guidance on innovative alternatives, reported Chalkbeat.
Under the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that replaces No Child Left Behind, states are given more freedom to explore alternates to traditional testing methods. New Hampshire is already piloting its Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) program, which replaces tests in four grades with projects and tasks given throughout the school year–and makes students show they have a deep understanding of the subjects they’re studying.
Other states are taking notice. The results are amazing–students are engaged, teachers are given more control over their classrooms, and districts get a much better picture of student progress–but it’s not without a great deal of work and dedication by teachers and administrators. Teachers and students say the work is well worth it:
“When you give students a real world problem, you allow them to be creative, you allow them to think critically,” Lee Sheedy, a high school geometry teacher, said. “They get incredibly motivated. If you walked into my room during PACE you could hear a pin drop.”
“When you let teachers … get out of their classrooms and you look at student work and you talk about it, teachers become better teachers,” Sheedy said. “Their ability to instruct and assess, it increases exponentially. I have grown more as a teacher since I’ve been doing PACE than any other thing I’ve been doing in the classroom over the last 12 years.”
Here’s what a group of Sanborn Regional High School students say about a real PACE assessment.
Read the full article here.