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ERIC Number: EJ1087699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
New Hampshire's Accountability 3.0
Leather, Paul
State Education Standard, v16 n1 p31-33 Jan 2016
Paul Leather is New Hampshire's deputy commissioner of education. In this article he writes that he believes education policymakers over the past few decades have made two critical decisions that have had deep, deleterious effects on the overall public education system. First, by demanding that each school be evaluated based on a single externally determined assessment or set of measures, public educators and schools were branded as mediocre at best and failures in the eyes of many in their communities. Second, responsibility, if not accountability, was taken from the hands of local school boards, educators, parents, and students. The result is a one size fits all system, where instead there should be vibrant schools in which educators develop their own mission statements, theories of action for teaching and learning, robust courses of study, assessments based on their own learning paradigm, and accountability based on research-based indicators of excellence and success. It is no wonder so many have been so taken by charter schools, where responsibility has been largely given over to charter boards. Yet overall outcomes for charters have been surprisingly similar to those of public schools. Leather presents a better option for New Hampshire that deprives neither local educators and communities of their ability to drive learning in their schools nor states of their need to ensure that public education is working for all students. His solution focuses on model competencies jointly developed by local districts and the department, intensive professional development around performance tasks, and a coherent system of assessments, also developed with a joint local and state imprint. In 2011, the New Hampshire State Board of Education adopted this vision for the state's public schools: To harness community resources and technology to provide a world class, personalized, student-centered education in a flexible, innovative learning environment that promotes active engagement to maximize the potential in every individual. Leather concludes by saying that as New Hampshire puts education back into the hands of educators, with checks along the way, he believes the state will see richer student work, higher student performance, and a new era for learning.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Hampshire
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A