Last week, the third PACE summer Institute was held at Concord schools. Over two hundred NH educators attended. The Demonstrated Success team had the privilege of helping in the organization and facilitation of the event.

The four-day Institute began with 2 days of scoring and calibration. On day one, pairs of educators teamed to conduct consensus scoring of selected student work samples from the PACE Common assessments. The PACE Common Assessments are performance tasks that have been developed collaboratively by participating PACE schools, vetted by an independent organization, and piloted prior to administration in schools participating in the PACE initiative. 

In participating schools, students in selected grades and subjects complete the PACE Common Tasks and do not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Typically, annual proficiency determinations that are reported to the federal government are based largely on Smarter Balanced, (or NECAP in the past). However, for PACE students, annual determination for math, ELA and science is determined through the scoring and calibrating across districts, of a “Body of Work” that demonstrates mastery of defined competencies. The PACE Common Assessments are not an SBAC replacement; they are used in a statistical process to validate the “Body of Work” that is used to generate those Annual Determination scores for PACE students.

On day two, educators returned to work in groups of 3 to rate a cross section of students’ “Body of Work” which is comprised of selected assessments throughout the year that reveal mastery of selected competencies. Triads analyzed student work samples and rated the entire “Body of Work” against Achievement Level Descriptors designed with essential grade level competencies in mind. Consensus was not the goal, but rather gaining multiple perspectives on the same Body of Work, for comparison purposes.

PACE Common Assessment consensus scores and “Body of Work” ratings were entered into PerformancePLUS on a de-identified site, allowing NHDOE statistical experts to export the data and manipulate it to generate reliable and valid Annual Determinations based on the PACE scores, Body of Work ratings, and teacher judgment scores from the previous year.

The final two days of the PACE Institute were spent with content area teams collaborating on new tasks for 2018-19. Five new schools have joined the PACE initiative at the Tier One level this year, bringing the total number to approximately 42 schools in New Hampshire who are participating.

Demonstrated Success is pleased to part of the PACE initiative. We believe that the power of PACE lies in student learning that can occur when professionals work collaboratively to develop and administer performance tasks that target defined competencies and higher order thinking.