The curriculum directors in New Hampshire school districts are the beating heart of classroom instruction in the State. Often serving as assistant superintendents, they are the leaders translating the State’s academic standards – goals for what students should learn – into a curriculum that principals can use in teachers’ professional development and teachers can use as the basis for their lesson plans.
A public statement like this is very unusual step. This has to be something they care deeply about because, although they explain this stuff all the time to their parents and school board members, they work mostly in obscurity. But they are on the front lines in the Common Core debate and have stepped out to make clear to the State how important the new standards are to our students.
Our legislators should pay particular attention to this message, as they begin a session that will take up a number of Common Core bills.
Here, and below, is the NHASCD letter as it appeared in today’s Portsmouth Herald. Hopefully, it will be in every paper in the State.
January 08, 2014 2:00 AM
Jan. 6 — To the Editor:
The Board of the New Hampshire Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NHASCD), the state’s largest professional development organization, supports the Common Core State Standards.
The Common Core Standards outline what students should know and be able to do in reading and mathematics from kindergarten through 12th grade. They align with the knowledge and skills that New Hampshire high school graduates need to be fully ready for college and careers.
They are benchmarked to the standards of top-performing countries and states, and mark the first time that states share a common set of educational goals and expectations for the nation\’s students. States and local districts develop their own curriculum and instructional activities to address these standards.
To develop these standards, state governors and state commissioners of education collaborated with educators and subject matter specialists. The federal government was not involved with their development, and state adoption is voluntary.
NHASCD is a nonprofit organization of more than 850 members that sponsors educational conferences and workshops, and is the co-sponsor of the N.H. Journal of Education.
NHASCD joins organizations such as the N.H. Business and Industry Association and the N.H. Coalition for Business & Education in supporting the Common Core. We appreciate and value the Common Core’s rigor and its emphasis on critical thinking, deeper understanding, and more personalized teaching and learning. As New Hampshire schools thoughtfully plan to implement these standards, we believe that all students will become far more successful in college and in their future careers.
The NHASCD Board urges New Hampshire’s families, educators, community members and local school boards to learn more about the expectations of the Common Core standards and then work to actively support their implementation.
Judith Adams, Manchester
Bethany Bernasconi, Windham
Gerard Buteau, Plymouth
William Carozza, Hopkinton
Kim Carter, Manchester
Rebecca Gagnon, Hopkinton
Christopher Harper, Derry
Stephanie Pike, Derry
Roberta Tenney, Concord
Marianne True, Plymouth
via State curriculum leaders endorse Common Core | SeacoastOnline.com.
Before I comment, I want to say again that I am not opposed to the Common Core standards per se, assuming teachers have professional discretion in how they are implemented in their schools and classrooms. But I do believe that sections of NHASCD’s letter are so general in an apparent effort to be brief that political opponents of the Common Core may easily find evidence of imprecision, at best, or intentional distortion at worst. I am referring to the points made in the second and third paragraphs. And again my hope is that we do not, in complete good faith, shoot ourselves in the foot.
I think the position itself and the decision to speak out are of overriding importance.
Best not override the truth, or truth will out to override the position.