New Hampshire students will not be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the spring, reported the Concord Monitor. The Department of Education has contracted with the American Institutes for Research to administer its statewide assessments:
“It’s going to be a great solution that everyone is going to be happy with. It really addresses everyone’s concerns,” said Frank Edelblut, the state’s education commissioner.
The department said the new tests will have several advantages. Testing time in math and ELA will be reduced by up to 2 ½ hours, and in science, by up to four. The new system will also allow a stakeholder group from the state to choose which questions will be administered and provide feedback.
Scott Marion is the executive director for the Center for Assessment, a Dover-based consulting firm specializing in school testing and accountability.
Since the underlying state standards for the test aren’t changing, Marion thinks it’ll still be possible to track student growth year over year by comparing results between the new and old tests. And Edelblut highlighted that the state had specifically asked that vendors who bid on the contract explain how results on the older tests could be related to new ones in order to track individual student progress.
But some comparability will be lost, Marion said. Contrasting, for example, the percent of students statewide who achieved proficiency in eighth-grade math in 2017 and in 2018, would be “almost exactly the wrong comparison,” he said.