Proficient test scores mostly drop for N.H. students

Monitor staff
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Test scores in math and reading went down across the board in New Hampshire – except in 11th grade – according to results released Monday by the state’s Department of Education.

“We are obviously concerned about the decline in student performance and will be working closely with schools to understand the underlying drivers,” education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in a statement. “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.”

Except for those taking place in Performance Assessments of Competency Education, the state’s testing pilot, Granite State students took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests for math and English language arts in grades 3 through 8. (This will change this year.) Eleventh-graders take the SATs for their assessment.

Sixty-six percent of 11th-graders scored proficient in ELA last year, the same percentage as the previous year. And 44 percent scored proficient on the math SAT – 3 percentage points higher than the year before.

But on the SBACs, scores declined. In English, proficiency went down between 1 and 4 percentage points. Fifty-eight percent of eighth-graders scored proficient, down 4 points from the year before. In third grade, 54 percent scored proficient, down 3 points from the year before.

In math, proficient scores went down between 1 and 3 percentage points. Forty-five percent of eighth-graders were proficient in math – down two percentage points from the year prior – and 55 percent of third graders achieved proficiency, down 3 percent from the year before.

In Concord, scores on the SATs also improved slightly. Sixty-six percent of 11th-graders scored proficient last year in English, compared to 64 percent the previous year. In math, 40 scored proficient, compared to 39 percent the year before.

On the other hand, scores for Concord eighth-graders declined slightly. In math, 49 percent scored proficient, down from 54 percent the year before. In English, 57 scored proficient, down from 64 the previous year.

Results for individual districts are available online at https://my.doe.nh.gov/profiles/.

Results for PACE and for the science NECAPs, the New England Common Assessment Program, will be released at a later date, the department said.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)