New Hampshire, the fifth smallest state in the country, has 190,000 pre-K–12 students enrolled in nearly 500 public schools and 180 districts. While more than half of the districts are located in rural communities, two-thirds of students attend urban or suburban schools. One in six New Hampshire students receive special education services, and one in four qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Just 11 percent of students identify as non-white or Hispanic, but that percentage has more than doubled in the last 10 years, reflecting a growing diversity across the state.
In recent years, New Hampshire has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for high school dropouts, requiring students to stay in school until age 18 and resulting in one of the highest graduation rates in the country. The state also has been a leader in developing its longitudinal education data system and warehouse, allowing teachers to access and analyze their students’ academic achievement over time. The state’s Task Force on Effective Teaching currently is designing a new teacher evaluation system, with multiple measures, to be piloted in select schools in the 2012/13 school year. REL Northeast and Islands is supporting New Hampshire educators and policymakers with these efforts, and others, through several research alliances, including:
Email State Liaison Pamela Buffington.