Nov 12, 2015 12:16 PM

NH students score better than other states on new Common Core national assessment test

A new test that measures student against the more stringent Common Core standards show New Hampshire students performing better than many of their peers in other states - but fewer students are meeting the higher standards for proficiency.

Scores for the Smarter Balanced Assessment were released Thursday covering grades 3 through 8 plus grade 11. The test replaces the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP test. That test identified a much higher percentage of New Hampshire students as proficient.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is considered a more difficult test than the NECAP because it's the first assessment based on the new and more stringent Common Core State Standards.

Unlike prior tests, this one is taken on a computer that gives students various follow-up questions based on their answers as well as a "performance task" that asks students to apply knowledge and skills to real-world problems. The goal is to measure students' depth of understanding, as well as writing, research and problem-solving skills.

Officials from the New Hampshire Department of Education said they were pleased with the overall results, but cautioned people to not read too much into the numbers, as 2014 was the first time the test was administered.

“This is a baseline assessment. I really want to emphasize that,” said New Hampshire Education Commissioner Virginia Barry.

According to the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire students had higher achievement levels in English and math compared with their peers in 21 states who took a "field version" of the test last year. In addition, N.H. had fewer students at the lowest achievement level compared with other states.

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