PL_State Landscape_PACE Case Study

New Hampshire’s PACE Assessments: Learning From the Ground Up

Jenny Deenik, a high school biology and chemistry teacher at Souhegan High School in Amherst, New Hampshire, has a grounding professional philosophy: With the right supports, all students can learn. 

For her students with disabilities, this means that rather than “modifying expectations,” Deenik looks to “accommodate needs.” Deenik’s high school is part of the Souhegan Cooperative School District, which is participating in a new effort in New Hampshire to redefine what assessment is and how it is used.

The Vision: Students will be college and career ready, and the system must advance students based on mastery of knowledge, skills, and dispositions, using a comprehensive system of educator and school support.

The Strategy: The Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) allows students to craft their own responses to a problem by demonstrating deep learning that goes beyond most traditional multiple-choice exams. Educators implementing PACE come together and develop both a set of performance tasks designed to reflect that a student has mastered a competency—the key knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a specific discipline (reading, math, and science)—and rubrics that objectively reflect whether a student’s achievements on that performance task reflect mastery of the competency.

Learn more about PACE and how it’s helping New Hampshire’s educators and students:

Download PDF of New Hampshire’s PACE Assessments: Learning From the Ground Up