There is established within the department of education a statewide education improvement and assessment program. The commissioner shall develop and implement this program in conjunction with the state board of education and the legislative oversight committee. In carrying out this program, the commissioner shall consult widely with educators at all levels, business people, government officials, community representatives, and parents.
I. The aims of this program shall be to:

Terms Used In New Hampshire Revised Statutes 193-C:3

  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of these laws, shall mean the section next preceding or following that in which such reference is made, unless some other is expressly designated. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:13
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • state: when applied to different parts of the United States, may extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall include said district and territories. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:4

(a) Define what students should know and be able to do.
(b) Develop and implement methods for assessing that learning and its application.
(c) Report assessment results to all citizens of New Hampshire.
(d) Help to provide accountability at all levels.
(e) Use the results, at both the state and local levels, to improve instruction and advance student learning.
II. Since the program is not a minimum competency testing program, assessment instruments should be designed to reflect the range of learning exhibited by students. The assessment portion of the program shall consist of a variety of assessment tasks that measure academic standards and are objectively scored. The assessment instruments shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Constructed response items which require students to produce answers to questions rather than to select from an array of possible answers.
(b) A writing sample.
(c) Other open-ended performance tasks.
III. The following criteria shall be used in the development of the program:
(a) Academic standards specifying what students should know and be able to do shall be clearly defined before assessment procedures and exercises are developed.
(b) The assessment exercises or tasks shall be valid and appropriate representations of the academic standards the students are expected to achieve.
(c) At each grade level assessed, the standards and expectations identifying what a student should know and be able to do shall be the same for every New Hampshire student.
(d) Teachers shall be involved in designing and using the assessment system.
(e) Assessment frameworks and reports shall be understandable and widely disseminated to parents, teachers, administrators, other school personnel, school board members, teacher preparation programs, business people, government officials, and community members.
(f) The assessment system shall be subject to continuous review and improvement.
(g) The assessment portion of the program shall be designed to be a measure of student academic achievement and growth of knowledge and skills.
IV. The assessment system shall generate data which may be used:
(a) At the student level, by students, parents, and teachers, to determine what the student knows and is able to do in relationship to the state-established academic standards.
(b) At the classroom and school building levels, to monitor student progress and to enhance learning.
(c) At the district level, to measure school and district-wide progress toward meeting goals and outcomes, to revise curriculum, to design in-service education programs, and to improve instruction.
(d) At the state level, to measure what students know and are able to do in relation to the attainment of goals and outcomes from the assessment frameworks, and to report the results to the citizens of New Hampshire.
(e) At the state level, to target services to schools, improve existing programs, develop new initiatives, and revise standards for school improvement, teacher certification, etc.
(f) At the college level, to integrate into teacher preparation programs instruction in state-established standards, techniques for enhancing student learning in these areas, and the use of assessment results to improve instruction.
(g) At all levels, to correlate, to the extent possible, with national goals and international standards.
(h) At all levels, to provide a basis for accountability.
(i) At the end of grade 3, to determine if pupils are at grade level in reading and mathematics on a standardized test to be developed by the department or an authorized, locally-administered assessment developed in consultation with the department, as part of a statewide assessment program, and to provide differentiated aid to schools pursuant to RSA 198:40-a for pupils not proficient on the reading component of the statewide or locally-administered assessment.
(j) At the school, district, and state levels, to provide performance reports on specific subgroups of pupils as required by federal law.
(k) At the high school level, to serve as one indicator of a student’s postsecondary education readiness.