Nov 5, 2017, White River Junction (VT) Valley News: Schools Struggling With State Testing http://www.vnews.com/New-Hampshire-s-Smarter-Balanced-test-scores-show-decline-in-proficiency-13431030 New Hampshire students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium standardized tests in the 2016-17 academic year demonstrated a decline in proficiency in virtually every grade and both subjects — results that have state education officials analyzing the drop in scores to better understand its significance and local officials questioning the usefulness of the test itself. The Smarter Balanced test is meant to measure reading and math proficiency for third- through eighth-graders, with 11th-graders taking the SAT. The results announced by the New Hampshire Department of Education late last month showed that scores, with the exception of slight increases in seventh-grade reading and 11th-grade math, dipped across the board. “We are obviously concerned about the decline in student performance and will be working closely with schools to understand the underlying drivers,” state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in an Oct. 23 news release. He also noted that reading proficiency declined in every state that administers the Smarter Balanced test, with the exception of California. Reading and math scores also declined slightly in Vermont, where students in grades three through eight and grade 11 take the Smarter Balanced test. … Assistant Superintendent Cory LeClair did not express concern over these drops. Instead, she called into question the validity of assessments like the Smarter Balanced test, in part because it measures for proficiency, rather than improvement over time.