I. Improvement and accountability in education are of primary concern to all of the citizens of New Hampshire. A well-educated populace is essential for the maintenance of democracy, the continued growth of our economy, and the encouragement of personal enrichment and development.
II. A statewide education improvement and assessment program built upon the establishment of academic standards specifying what students should know and be able to do is an important element in educational improvement. Such a program also serves as an effective measure of accountability and student performance when the assessment exercises or tasks are valid and appropriate representations of the knowledge and skills that students are expected to achieve.
III. Widespread participation in the establishment of a statewide education improvement and assessment program is essential. Consultation with educators at all levels, business people, government officials, community representatives, and parents must occur in the development of academic standards. In turn, widespread dissemination of those standards, once established, must occur. Teachers, administrators, and school board members must be fully apprised of these state-developed standards. They must, in turn, communicate these expectations to students and parents, and find and implement methods to enable students to acquire and apply the requisite knowledge and skills.
IV. In addition, the assessment results must be reported to students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, and to all other citizens of New Hampshire in order that informed decisions can be made concerning curriculum, in-service education, instructional improvement, teacher training, resource allocation, and staffing.
V. [Repealed.]
VI. The purpose of the statewide education improvement and assessment program is not to establish a statewide curriculum. It is, rather, to establish what New Hampshire students should know and be able to do and to develop and implement effective methods for assessing that learning and its application so that local decisions about curriculum development and delivery can be made.