U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced that New Hampshire received approval to continue with its innovative assessment program, the Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE), as part of a pilot program authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
“I’m thrilled to see Commissioner Edelblut step up to the plate and utilize this important new flexibility afforded by ESSA,” said Secretary DeVos. “This pilot program gives states the opportunity to make assessments more relevant to classroom learning while still providing important information about student achievement and growth.”
New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) is grounded in a competency-based educational approach designed to ensure that all students have meaningful opportunities to achieve critical knowledge and skills. The PACE will use local assessments as part of the annual determination of student proficiency for accountability. The assessments will be informed by local teachers, integrated into students’ day-to-day work and reduce the overall amount of standardized testing.
Louisiana was the first state to receive approval to utilize this flexibility. Its pilot program will measure student understanding in English language arts (ELA) and social studies by assessing students on passages from books used in daily classroom instruction at regular intervals, rather than randomly-selected texts once during the school year.
The Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) program is designed to lower barriers to innovation and encourage local involvement in the development of the next generation of assessments.
As part of the program, states can pilot new and innovative assessments on a small scale, avoid double-testing students on both pilot and statewide exams and develop strategies for implementing such innovative assessments statewide over time.
To participate in the pilot, states must apply and demonstrate how their innovative assessments are developed in collaboration with local stakeholders, aligned to challenging state academic standards and accessible to all students through use of principles of universal design for learning, among other requirements.
Learn more about PACE in New Hampshire:
- Education Commissioner hopeful that PACE can create opportunities for deeper learning for all students
- What does meaningful assessment look like? Check out our infographic.
- PACE program helps support learning & gives credibility to testing alternatives
- More on PACE