Smarter Balanced

5:04 am
Thu April 2, 2015

In Districts Experimenting With New Tests, Writing Questions Is Only Half The Task

Teachers at a calibration workshop sort out which activities they will be grading.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

While in the Manchester school district, hundreds of parents are pulling their children out of the state’s new standardized test, the Smarter Balanced, four districts are trying something new. The Rochester, Sanborn, and Epping school districts along with Souhegan high school have recently received permission to design and implement their own assessments.

Think back to the standardized tests you did when you were in high school. Did you ever get a math question like this?

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6:24 am
Tue March 24, 2015

As Parents Push Back, 'Opt-Out' Policies Still Unclear For Many States

Education Commission of the States

Like in New Hampshire, states across the country are rolling out new assessments this spring aligned with the Common Core.

But whether parents have the right opt out of those tests can vary state by state.

A study released earlier this month found that while some states have clear guidelines on whether children are required to participate, other states’ policies are still evolving.

Julie Rowland is a researcher for the Education Commission of the States.

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4:58 am
Tue March 24, 2015

'Smarter Balanced' Test Rolls On Despite 'Opt-Out' Controversy

Last week, New Hampshire's third through eighth graders and one high school grade began taking a new standardized test: the Smarter Balanced.

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NH News
7:29 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Nearly 200 Manchester Students Opt Out Of Smarter Balanced Exam

Credit NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

Nearly 200 students opted out of taking the Smarter Balanced exam in Manchester this week.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the district received 196 refusal requests from parents or guardians during the first week of the new online statewide assessment.

The test is being given to students across the state in grades three through eight, as well as 11th grade.

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6:49 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Despite Testing Mix-Up, State Says Smarter Balanced Rollout Going Well

Many schools across New Hampshire this week are administering the new Smarter Balanced exam for the first time.

This is the first week of a 12-week testing window for schools to give the assessment.

The rollout hasn’t gone completely as planned, after some students were accidentally given a practice version of the exam.

Officials at three Manchester schools said some students will have to retake the test.

Heather Gage is director of educational improvement for the state Department of Education.

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4:09 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

At Least Three N.H. Schools Gave Students Wrong Version Of 'Smarter Balanced' Test

Central High School in Manchester
Via Central High School Community on Facebook

Students attending at least three New Hampshire Schools took the wrong version of the new Smarter Balanced standardized test, due to a labeling error in the vendor’s software.

On Monday, students at three Manchester schools – Central High School, Beech Street School, and McDonough Elementary School – gave a practice test instead of the real thing. The tests administered were for the proper grade level.

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5:43 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

First N.H. Students Begin Taking 'Smarter Balanced' Test

Credit NYC Department of Technology / Flicker CC

Schools in New Hampshire started to administer a brand new standardized test Monday.

Ever since 2005, students all over New England have taken a standardized-test called the NECAP in 3rd through 8th grade and once more in high school, but this year the pencil-and-paper NECAP was replaced with an online test, the Smarter Balanced.

The Smarter Balanced is “adaptive,” meaning the questions get harder or easier depending on which questions the student gets correct.

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6:12 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Four N.H. School Districts Allowed To Cut Back On Statewide Standardized Tests

usdagov via Flickr CC

New Hampshire students will take a new standardized test this spring, called the Smarter Balanced. Early indications are the test will be substantially more difficult, and school teachers and administrators are anxious, and some – like Manchester – have been looking for an out, only to find there is not much wiggle room.

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8:44 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

High-Profile Critic Of Education Reform Comes To N.H.

Credit tbfurman / Flickr Creative Commons

Diane Ravitch, one of the nation's loudest voices against efforts by recent presidents to reform American education, says teachers should be able to make changes to the new Common Core State Standards that New Hampshire schools are implementing now.

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