/ May 23, 2018

JFF: Jobs For The Future


Strengthening Student Learning for Success in

College, Career and Civic Life


An Invitation for New Hampshire Teachers 

New Hampshire offers innovative, successful approaches in competency-based and deeper learning practices and is a model for other states to follow.  That’s why Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit, is partnering with the NH Learning Initiative, the NH Department of Education, and the National Center for Innovation in Education to understand how work-study practices are being adopted and scaled across the state. We are seeking to understand how certain professional development opportunities impact teachers’ and students’ experiences as they learn to develop, use and assess work-study practices in classrooms. We invite you to join this important study, which offers numerous benefits for your professional development. Please see below for basic details followed by a link for more information.


If you are a NH teacher, school leader, or district official currently engaged in or entering the PACE system, we want you to participate in our study! As a participant, you will:

  • Collaborate and network with colleagues across the state
  • Receive timely data and analysis that can be used to improve teacher practice and bolster student achievement
  • Learn best practices and how your district compares to other PACE districts in building deeper learning competencies like communication, collaboration, creativity and self-directed learning

Why we are doing this:
Research suggests that when students learn specific work-study practices connected to communication, creativity, collaboration, and self-directed learning, they are more likely to experience success in college, career and civic life.

Who is involved:
We are a collaboration of researchers, leaders, and professional development providers with a strong track record of working collaboratively and productively with teachers and districts.

What we are doing:
We are embarking on a series of data collection and analysis activities designed to strengthen and scale research-proven practices to meet the needs of all New Hampshire’s teachers and students.

Where we are workings:

Classrooms and districts that are engaged in the PACE system

When it is happening:

May 2018 – January 2021

How we are operating:
We want to understand how work-study practices are being implemented and scaled so we can help NH and other states build the capacity needed to fully adopt and adapt best practices. Consequently, we will be combining state collected PACE data on work study practices with student and teacher surveys to understand how student outcomes at the classroom level relate to student and teacher experiences in those classrooms.  We are interested in what is embedded in classroom practice data vs. what is a part of your classroom activities and assessments. Please note: the study is neither connected to teacher performance evaluations nor will data be used to assess individual student learning outcomes.

What’s your part?

  • A lead contact at the district level (or school level if the rest of your district is not participating) will be the point person for research partnership communications.
  • A commitment to conduct two, 15 to 20-minutes surveys with students in your classroom each school year (one in the early fall and one in the late spring). The survey will be provided in both online and paper formats with instructional support. We are looking to include as many students as possible but will work with you to figure out what works for your situation.
  • A commitment to conduct (if you are a school or district leader) or complete (if you are a teacher) two 30-minute teacher engagement surveys in each school year (one in early fall and one in late spring). The survey will be provided both online and paper formats with instructional support.
  • An agreement, if required, to allow the NH Department of Education to release PACE system data for your school/district.



You can sign up at:  http://bit.ly/NHDiffStudy



JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American labor market through system disruption and innovation at scale. To review JFF’s work with student centered learning research, please visit: studentsatthecenterhub.org/resource/research-collaborative/

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Ellen Hume-Howard

Executive Director

Ellen Hume-Howard has served as NHLI’s executive director since 2017.  In this role, she leads NHLI to assist New Hampshire schools and districts to deepen their innovative practices in education and improve learning for all students.  In addition to managing a staff of five, she also works directly with teacher leaders and administrators to support competency-based and personalized learning, assessment design, and competency-based instructional practice.

Since 2014, Ellen has worked with state and national experts to design a competency assessment program using performance assessment for state accountability.  Initially called PACE, the program was a first-of-its-kind accountability and assessment.  In 2022, NHLI launched NH PLACE (Performance Learning and Assessment Consortium for Educators) to support performance learning and assessment.

Before joining NHLI, Ellen worked as the director of curriculum for the Sanborn Regional School District, and guided the district’s research, design, and implementation of a nationally recognized K-12 competency-based learning system.

Ellen received her undergraduate degree in English from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in Education and a CAGS in Educational Leadership.

Ellen and her husband Kip live on the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Categories: NHLInsights, Research and Resources

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