N.H. Student Assessment Results Recovering Lost Ground: DOE Reports

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Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the Department of Education

Math SAT scores are down, but remain comparatively high

CONCORD, NH (July 18, 2022) — There are early signs of improvement following two years of academic disruptions and negative impacts on learning from the pandemic.

Although assessment scores have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, preliminary performance scores from 2022 are beginning to show slight gains, or remain unchanged.

In 2021, the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System performance levels dropped at every grade level from third through eighth grade, including both English and math scores. The state completed comprehensive analysis of those results to help understand how to support students recovering from the pandemic. In 2022, that performance data has started to turn around.

According to preliminary numbers, New Hampshire students in grades three through seven improved their math assessment scores in 2022, while eighth grade math scores remained the same. Proficiency scores showed slight gains with 51 percent of third-graders proficient in math in 2022 compared to 45 percent proficient in 2021. A similar trend was noticed for the fourth-grade class, which showed 48 percent proficient in math in 2022 compared to 41 percent proficient in 2021.

Preliminary figures indicate that English assessment scores remained nearly steady for grades three through five, and improved for sixth-graders with 53 percent proficient in 2022 compared to 50 percent proficient in 2021. The older grade levels showed slight declines in English proficiency in 2022, with 49 percent of seventh-graders scoring proficient in 2022 compared to 52 percent in 2021. A similar scenario occurred with 46 percent of eighth-graders scoring proficient in English in 2022 compared to 49 percent in 2021.

“Assessment scores are inching upward and returning to near pre-pandemic levels, but it is clear that there is still work to be done to recover from the academic declines that resulted from COVID-19. New Hampshire has not fully regained ground, but these early signs of improvement are promising,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner.

Percent Proficient20182019202020212022
Third grade math5557COVID4551
Third grade English5452COVID4545
Fourth grade math5352COVID4148
Fourth grade English5655COVID4948
Fifth grade math4543COVID3339
Fifth grade English6257COVID5554
Sixth grade math4647COVID3540
Sixth grade English5656COVID5053
Seventh grade math4847COVID3437
Seventh grade English6057COVID5249
Eighth grade math4745COVID3333
Eighth grade English5853COVID4946

While many NHSAS results are making strides, there are still some learning gaps that remain, including at the high school level. Earlier this year, the junior class completed the 2022 SAT high school assessment, and preliminary results from that exam are now available. The data reveals slight declines in reading proficiency in 2022, and more moderate declines in math proficiency – a trend that is being noticed among other states as well.

Preliminary data indicates that the average score for states that use the SAT as a high school accountability test declined approximately seven points in evidence-based reading and writing, and 18 points in math when comparing 2022 with 2019 outcomes, according to the College Board. In New Hampshire, the decline was less – four points for reading and 16 points in math when comparing 2022 with 2019 results.

In 2022, New Hampshire’s average reading score on the SAT was 511 compared to 517 in 2021 and 515 in 2019. The average math score for 2022 was 492 compared to 509 in 2021 and 508 in 2019.

“We know that these students, who will be starting their senior year in a few weeks, have had a high school career filled with disruptions, remote classes and missed learning. We also know that SAT participation dropped in New Hampshire to about 82 percent in 2022” said Edelblut. “While many states have seen an overall decline in SAT test scores, New Hampshire scores continue to remain comparatively high.”

 201920212022
Reading Participation90%80%82%
Reading Proficiency (Cut Score 480)63%63%61%
Reading Average Score515517511
Mathematics Participation90%80%82%
Mathematics Proficiency (Cut Score 530)42%42%36%
Mathematics Average Score508509492

Individual school and district data for both the NHSAS and SAT results will be released in the fall through the iPlatform system.

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