Our Stories

Read about current challenges in education and assessment, and see how NHLI has successfully supported states, districts and schools in rethinking assessments and learning systems to help students prepare better for college, career and life.

/ January 3, 2021

Scaling is All the Rage, But How Do You Make It Happen?

New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment for Competency-based Education (PACE) system is entering its third year. Using this alternative state accountability system, 150 teachers in nine school districts have created 14 performance assessment tasks in mathematics, English language arts (ELA) and science. The tasks have been validated against standardized state tests with the ambition to bring performance assessments to all students in the state across all disciplines. A primary goal of PACE is to ensure that students demonstrate their content knowledge to gain academic credits and graduate.

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/ January 3, 2021

Investing in Teachers as Agents of Scale

As part of a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation funded research-practice partnership (RPP), JFF (Jobs for the Future) has been collecting data and insights on the scaling of WSPs (aka deeper learning competencies or essential skills) in New Hampshire.  From the start, the state’s PACE system was a key driver to scale, providing a critical backbone for assessing competency-based efforts. What has become clearer to the JFF research team is that investing in teacher capacity to instruct and assess WSPs has been a critical move to ensure that the practice change is deep, spreads, and is sustainable.  A key orientation has been a strong commitment to teacher ownership of the process.  The practice partner is this effort, the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), has been critical to supporting and pushing this teacher-centered approach forward.

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/ January 3, 2021

Scaling Up Deeper Learning: Results From New Hampshire’s Statewide Efforts

Employers, colleges and families may not agree on much, but they tend to agree about this: our K-12 students need to develop essential skills like self-direction, collaboration, communication and creativity to successfully navigate college, career and community life. Trouble is, standardized tests and traditional assessments do not adequately capture whether students have developed these deeper learning skills. Too often, we test things we may not value and may not be all that important. Fortunately, leaders are working to change this, and the results are promising.

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