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STATEWIDE EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM
193-C:1 Statement of Purpose. –
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 educational 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 when the assessment exercises or tasks are valid and appropriate representations of the curriculum standards 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 educational 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. A critical part of this program is the local education improvement and assessment plan. In order for an assessment program to give an accurate picture of student performance, it must include more than a one-time measure. Local school districts should devise and implement measures which focus on the continuing growth of individual students, and report the results to parents along with those obtained from the state-developed tool.
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.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993.
193-C:2 Definitions. – In this chapter:
I. ""Commissioner'' means the commissioner of the department of education.
II. ""Committee'' means the legislative oversight committee established to review the statewide education improvement and assessment program.
III. ""Department'' means the department of education.
IV. ""Program'' means the New Hampshire statewide education improvement and assessment program.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993.
193-C:3 Program Established; Goals. – 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:
(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 which can be 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) Educational 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 standards the students are expected to achieve.
(c) At each grade level assessed, the standards and expectations 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.
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 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 reading at grade level on a standardized reading test to be developed by the department as part of a statewide assessment system.
(j) At the school, district, and state levels, to provide performance reports on specific subgroups of pupils as required by federal law.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993. 2003, 314:7, eff. July 22, 2003.
193-C:4 Rulemaking. – The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the exemption of certain students from participation in the program. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the state board of education to adopt rules pursuant to the authority granted by the general court.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993.
193-C:5 Areas of Assessment. – The academic areas to be assessed shall include, but not be limited to: reading and language arts, mathematics, science, history, geography, civics, and economics.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993. 2007, 3:1, eff. June 19, 2007.
193-C:6 Assessment Required. – Each year, a statewide assessment shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school. All public school students in the designated grades shall participate in the assessment, unless such student is exempted, or provided that the commissioner of the department of education may, through an agreement with another state when such state and New Hampshire are parties to an interstate agreement, allow pupils to participate in that state's assessment program as an alternative to the assessment required under this chapter. Home educated students may contact their local school districts if they wish to participate in the statewide assessment. Private schools may contact the department of education to participate in the statewide assessment.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993. 1999, 224:2, eff. Sept. 4, 1999. 2007, 3:2, eff. June 19, 2007.
193-C:7 Legislative Oversight Committee. – An oversight committee shall be established consisting of:
I. The chairperson of the house education committee, or a designee.
II. The chairperson of the senate education committee, or a designee.
III. One member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house.
IV. One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.
V. One member of the house finance committee, appointed by the speaker of the house.
VI. One member of the senate finance committee, appointed by the senate president.
Source. 1993, 290:2. 1995, 9:24, eff. June 11, 1995.
193-C:8 Duties of the Legislative Oversight Committee. – The committee shall:
I. Review the development and implementation of the school performance and accountability program set forth in RSA 193-H to ensure compliance with state and federal law. Implementation of the program shall be in conjunction with the committee's review.
II. Review the provisions of RSA 193-H and submit a report of such review annually to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the governor, and the chairpersons of the house and senate education committees.
III. Propose legislation that is needed as a result of the review of the progress and results of the policies implemented under this chapter and under RSA 193-H, including any changes necessitated by federal law.
IV. Confer with the commissioner and the state board of education to identify operational principles which should guide the work of the department of education in supporting improved school performance and accountability.
V. Analyze existing department of education programs and initiatives which support improved school performance and accountability.
VI. Receive reports from the commissioner regarding the status of public education in New Hampshire, updates on the improvement made by local school districts toward achieving satisfactory progress in statewide student performance under RSA 193-H:2 and status reports on the on-going issues and implications of school accountability at the state and federal level. Reports by the commissioner shall occur at least once annually or more frequently as needed, as determined by the committee and the commissioner.
VII. Review and approve statewide performance targets required under RSA 193-H:2 developed by the department of education and recommended to the legislative oversight committee by the state board of education.
VIII. Receive reports from the state board of education including rules recommended by the department to be adopted by the state board of education under RSA 541-A relative to statewide performance targets required under RSA 193-H:2. The legislative oversight committee shall propose legislation to be submitted to establish such statewide performance targets in state statute during the legislative session following the approval of any recommendations which the state board of education is required to make.
IX. Review the unique pupil identification system established in RSA 193-E:5 and propose legislation needed as a result of the review.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993. 2003, 314:8, eff. July 22, 2003. 2004, 147:4, eff. Aug. 1, 2004.
193-C:9 Local Education Improvement and Assessment Plan; Local Education Improvement Fund. –
I. There is hereby established a local education improvement fund in the state treasury for the purpose of providing assistance to local school districts. This fund shall be nonlapsing.
II. (a) The department of education is authorized to use the amount transferred to the education improvement fund, in addition to any available federal funds for similar purposes, for any of the following purposes:
(1) To support and administer the local education improvement plan program.
(2) To collect, analyze, and report the demographic and educational improvement data.
(3) To assist local school staff with the analysis and use of school performance data.
(4) To provide grants as available to school districts for local school improvement.
(5) To provide a system of annual recognition to identify best practices and promote school improvement.
(b) For the biennium beginning July 1, 2003, and every biennium thereafter, appropriations from the fund shall be authorized by the legislative fiscal committee and the governor and council.
(c) Moneys transferred to the education improvement fund shall not be transferred, diverted, or used for any purpose not specified in this section.
III. The priority for the use of any state funds shall be given to lower-performing non Title I schools.
Source. 1993, 290:2, eff. June 22, 1993. 1996, 300:4, 5, eff. July 1, 1996. 2003, 314:8, eff. July 22, 2003.
193-C:10 Accessibility of Assessment Materials. – After the assessment results are released by the department, a pupil's parent or legal guardian shall have the right to inspect and review the pupil's assessment booklet, answer or response sheets, surveys, instructions or directions to the pupil, and any other supplemental materials utilized to administer the assessment. A parent or legal guardian shall direct a request for inspection or review to the pupil's school, and the school shall comply with such request within 45 days of its receipt. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to implement procedures for the review and inspection of assessment materials. These rules shall provide parents and legal guardians with no fewer rights accorded to them under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
Source. 1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.
193-C:11 Anonymity of Pupil Assessment Results; Parental Authorization Required. – Individual pupil names or codes contained in the statewide assessment results, scores, or other evaluative materials shall be deleted for the purposes of records maintenance and storage of such results or scores at the department of education, unless a parent or legal guardian provides written authorization otherwise, or as required under federal law. Individual pupil results shall be made available to a parent, a legal guardian, or the pupil's school in accordance with the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
Source. 1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.