The New Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (NHEIAP)

The New Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (NHEIAP) is an exam that provides invaluable feedback to students and teachers. Read on to learn more about how the NHEIAP can be used to increase the quality of education offered by the state of New Hampshire.

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The New Hampshire Educational Improvement and Assessment Program (NHEIAP) is the result of the 1989 decision by the New Hampshire state Board of Education to develop and educational improvement and assessment program. It is a 5 step program:

  1. Define what students should know and accomplish upon completion of different levels of education.
  2. Communicate these standards to educators statewide.
  3. Assist schools to develop local improvement and assessment plans.
  4. Develop assessment tools which accurately evaluate a student's ability to meet these new standards.
  5. Assist schools to use assessment results to modify local plans for improving student academic performance.

Depending on the results in each subject area tested, a student's level of achievement is defined at one of four levels:

  • Novice
  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Advanced

Students are to be tested in four areas:

  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies.

3rd graders are tested in Math and English Language Arts; 6th and 10th graders are tested in all subject areas. These tests will contain a mix of open-ended and multiple-choice questions to evaluate students' knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge.

Even in New Hampshire, a state where students earn high scores in national standardized testing, the NHEIAP is a very helpful tool. It applies even higher standards and, since it's standardized, provides information about how an individual child or group of children performed in comparison with other New Hampshire students. Over time, the test results will also impact how New Hampshire schools teach to the standards, as well as help fine-tune the standards themselves.

NHEIAP results provide schools with additional data to help them identify student strengths and areas that need improvement. This data can help further design and implementation of educational improvement activities. As more data on student performance is collected, schools will be better able to focus improvement plans where they're needed most.

The standards used were developed by New Hampshire teachers, parents, business people, administrators, community leaders, and policy makers. The state of New Hampshire hired a nationally known educational contractor to develop tests based on curriculum frameworks. New Hampshire Content Committees participated in designing the questions to ensure validity and grade-level appropriateness.

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