WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the approval of New Hampshire’s consolidated education plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Friday, January 19th, 2018.
“New Hampshire’s plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it,” said Secretary DeVos. “This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which New Hampshire can improve education for its students.”
On September 18, 2017, the New Hampshire Department of Education had submitted a final ESSA Consolidated State Plan that was based on feedback from hundreds of Granite State citizens and educators over the course of a year and a half.
The approved plan embraces three key values of education in New Hampshire, all of which focus on student growth and increasing options for students both in the personalization of learning and in career readiness.
The first key value incorporated in this plan is a measured shift from a proficiency-based model to a growth-oriented model. Before, the New Hampshire Department of Education measured schools’ performance based on a one hundred percent proficiency model. Now, it will look at schools’ performance by also including how students grow in their academic achievement. This shift will allow each student to achieve proficiency as they are kept on a path of strong academic growth.
New Hampshire Education Commissioner, Frank Edelblut, said, “We are focused on a learner-centric model where the student is central to the decision making process of all stakeholders. We have made a systematic shift to emphasize growth as a foundational measure.”
The second key value embraces student family and caregiver support. The plan recognizes this support as being fundamental for students to reach their best outcome, including students in the state’s most vulnerable populations and those at risk.
The final key value is referred to as the “fifth indicator,” which is a direct response to input by New Hampshire educational leaders in a new approach to educational accountability. It parts from the long held model of a top-down, externally-oriented approach and supports instead multiple means and high levels of student engagement in learning with the goal of significant improvements toward college and career readiness. It engages the individuality of each student’s post-secondary path while harnessing their passions through available career skill training. In so doing, it recognizes that students may have different paths and measures student attainment in broad categories: from completion of a NH Scholars programs or scoring a “C” or better in dual enrollments courses, to scoring a minimum level on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test or earning a Career and Technology Education credential.
Commissioner Edelblut said, “I am excited about the approach we have taken in developing our ESSA Consolidated State Plan. This plan embodies the expert thinking of our classroom teachers, as well as engaging a broad range of community stakeholders in the success of our students. We have also created space for the uniqueness of each student by incorporating a broad range of success measures that reflect and respect that students as individuals may have different paths toward successful careers.”
“I am thankful that the U.S. Department of Education approved New Hampshire’s ESSA’s plan,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Our plan puts students first, provides teachers flexibility to innovate, and expands high-quality educational opportunities that will be available to all Granite State students. Commissioner Edelblut and I look forward to its successful implementation.”
Further information, including links to NH’s approval letter from the U.S. Department of Education and the new NH ESSA education plan, can be found on the NH Department of Education’s website or directly at the following hyperlinks: the U.S. Education NH letter of approval, the NH ESSA Consolidated State Plan.
For More Information Contact: Bianca Garcia, Director of Communications (603) 271-0448 Bianca.Garcia@doe.nh.gov