There are almost 70 education bills filed, too many to keep you up to date on along the other posts on the ANHPE site, so we have made a special site called “Education Bills,” where you can track the bills you’re interested in and even get specialized daily emails with everything about those bills, from hearing times to news articles and testimony.
The new site is here and, as you see, it is also the far right item on the menu at the top of this page. You can “Follow” the site to keep up to the minute or subscribe to newsletters that cover your specific areas of interest.
NH Deputy Education Commissioner Paul Leather testifies in Washington on how to move on from the bubble test
One of the biggest debates in American public education is over the annual standardized tests the 13 year-old No Child Left Behind requires of states. New Hampshire is seen as a national leader in developing credible alternatives to over-testing in our schools.
Last week, New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather testified before the Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, as it rewrites the No Child Left Behind act. The committee’s most important proposal will be a new flexibility modeled on New Hampshire’s unique assessment strategy.
Deputy Commissioner Leather’s testimony was based on years of work in school districts from Rochester to Sanborn, the Milan Village Elementary School, charter schools like MC2 in Manchester and Next in Derry and many others. The department of education has worked with the schools to show how to put educators in charge of assessing students’ progress without allowing standardized testing to disrupt learning.
Here is video of Deputy Commissioner Leather’s testimony describing what we have learned (go to minute 45:48).
A major anti-Common Core push failed in the Legislature last year, but only one Common Core bill has been filed this year – LSR 485 from Rep. Rick Ladd (R, Haverhill). According to Rep. Ladd, the bill will say,
“School districts are not required to participate in the common core standards. School districts not participating in the common core standards shall adopt educational standards in mathematics and English language arts that equal to or exceed state minimum standards in mathematics and English language arts for all grades of public schools as adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to RSA 541-A.”
Newfound Regional High School, “working to provide a personalized, competency-based education for every student”
In 2005, New Hampshire became the first state to begin the move toward competency based education instead merely counting the number of courses in which a student spent the required time and received a passing grade. The Legislature mandated that by the 2008/09 school year, high schools measure credit according to students’ mastery of course competencies rather than seat time.
Competency based education makes it possible for teachers to personalize learning to the needs of each student. Newfound Regional has jumped in with both feet and was featured recently on Competency Works, a leading website covering competency issues. (more…)
Over the past 6 years, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) has become an important institution in New Hampshire public education. Offering online courses that any New Hampshire student can take at no cost, VLACS dramatically expands the options available to New Hampshire students.
NHPR has just done a thorough two-part review of how VLACS works day-to-day for both students and teachers. (more…)