The New Hampshire Department of Education released last year’s Smarter Balanced and SAT scores which showed a decline in math and ELA proficiency. New Hampshire’s students take Smarter Balanced in grades 3-8 and grade 11 they take the SAT.
Each grade that took the Smarter Balanced Assessment saw a decline in math and ELA proficiency. The lone bright spot was with 11th-graders taking the SAT who had a three percent gain (44 percent) in math from last year. Even so, less than half of the Granite State’s juniors are proficient in math.
“We are obviously concerned about the decline in student performance and will be working closely with schools to understand the underlying drivers,” commented Frank Edelblut, Commissioner of Education. “It is interesting that all of the states that participated in the Smarter Balanced consortium for 2016-2017 saw a similar decline in their English language arts results, except California, which stayed even.”
“Now that the data has been certified, we will do some deep analysis to understand the results, looking at how our districts, schools, and subgroups performed,” stated Sandie MacDonald, the administrator for the Bureau of Instructional Support and Student Assessment. “While schools and families have had individualized student information to assist in supporting students since last spring, this is the Departments first opportunity to look at the aggregate state and district data we need to support our schools.”
I suspect what they will probably find as they do “deep analysis,” as other states have seen, is that they have a widening proficiency gap with their minority students.
Something that jumped out at me looking at these scores is how New Hampshire lacks California’s “hope.” In California, educrats were latching onto hope because of their third graders, who started kindergarten under Common Core, saw a slight increase collectively than previous third graders.
It is a false hope as I wrote:
Some are getting excited about less than one-half of California’s third graders meeting and exceeding standards. Also, apparently the definition of “relatively high” has changed. These students have been under Common Core since the beginning and still, only 47 percent meet or exceed the standards.
In 2016, 46 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards. As fourth-graders this year only 40.45 percent do. In 2015, 40 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards, but as fifth-graders this year only 33.83 percent do.
So the only thing I see here is that students’ collective scores worsen the longer they are under Common Core.
New Hampshire can still point to a higher proficiency rate, but they also have fewer ESL learners, fewer minority students, etc. who historically have not performed as well on standardized assessments. What New Hampshire can’t point to is collective growth in their proficiency rate among third graders.