The state of Department of Education has entered into a contract with the American Institute for Research, AIR, for a new standardized test for New Hampshire.
NEA-NH continues too look into the impact this change will have on our students and educators and will post updates as we learn more about the new tests. For now, this is what what have learned:
- The AIR test is based upon the Common Core Standards so it will be testing the same knowledge as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test.
- The specifications for the test items are different than the SBAC assessment which allows for test items that can be completed more quickly. It will also LIKELY mean that there will be fewer items for which students must actually construct a response.
- The test will be done on a computer.
Sandie MacDonald, who oversees the assessment work for the NH DOE, reassured us that teachers will not see any differences on the ELA or math assessments because they will function exactly like the Smarter Balanced, SBAC, test.
“We are excited about this because teachers will not have to spend valuable classroom time learning a new system,” MacDonald said. “Science will be different as it will no longer be paper/pencil assessment, but gives back some instructional time to teachers and will be taken using the same interface as ELA/math. This should make for a smooth transition for students.”
She emphasized that the review committee included educators from around the state who selected AIR based on their expertise in the field and knowledge of NH learners. “I can’t think of a more qualified group of people to select an educational assessment,” she said.
A list of the educators participating in the review can be found here.
Although the new test are different from previous tests, we are hopeful that they will continue to provide data that can be used with the results from the SBAC test over the past three years.
An article that briefly explains the new test can be found here.
It is our goal to provide as much information as possible to help our members learn about the new assessments to ensure we understand how the new items are formatted and how our students’ learning will be assessed.