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New Hampshire Gets the OK to Participate in ESSA's Innovative Assessment Pilot

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has given New Hampshire the green light to participate in the Every Student Succeeds Act's Innovative Assessment pilot.

The Granite State is now the second state to win approval. Louisiana got DeVos's OK for the flexibility back in July.

So what exactly is the Innovative Assessment pilot? ESSA allows up to seven states to try out new kinds of tests in a handful of districts before taking them statewide. New Hampshire got the ball rolling for this back in 2015, under the previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act, when it was permitted to use performance-based exams in a handful of districts.

Back in 2015, a small handful of districts in New Hampshire decided to try out performance-based assessments in certain grades, in lieu of the state tests, which the districts would take in other years. The districts have been working hard to make sure the results of these tests can be compared from one district to the next. (More in Andrew's on-sight look at the pilot here.) The leeway granted by the feds Tuesday gives New Hampshire the flexibility to continue that work.

There are still five slots left in the pilot, and it appears the department will keep giving states the opportunity to apply until they are filled. The next deadline is in December of this year. Already, at least one state, Georgia, has said it would like to apply.  

Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here's some useful information:


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