The UL takes the expected editorial position on the strong affirmation by the House in support of the Common Core standards:
The New Hampshire House of Representatives sent a strong message to parents on Wednesday: Obey your educational superiors and don’t ask any questions.
Let’s be clear. The political opposition to the Common Core in New Hampshire is driven by the homeschoolers and voucher advocates who were in the forefront of the effort to privatize New Hampshire public education in the last Legislature.
Skeptical inquiry into the real impact of these new higher standards does indeed exist across the political spectrum. But, as Rep. Mel Myler (D-Contoocook) said on the House floor Wednesday, “There is a large gap between legitimate skeptical inquiry and ideological defiance.” That’s the gap the Union Leader blandly ignores, in spite of the great success in New Hampshire classrooms documented in their own news pages (here and here and here and here for example).
Four bills dealing directly with the Common Core educational standards were before the House on Wednesday. The House either defeated or sent to interim study all five of them — even ones to simply study the standards.
House Bill 1239 would have directed the state to study the costs of implementing Common Core standards. It would have allowed current standards to remain in place, but would have prevented the state from imposing any new ones before the study’s completion. It was defeated 182-124.
This was the “sand in the gears” bill that would have put every school district through burdensome reporting requirements and insured that no educational standard was ever adopted in New Hampshire again.
House Bill 1262 would have forbidden the state from sharing any “personally identifiable data” on students with the federal government or a for-profit company. The House voted 203-117 to hold the bill for further study.
This was Rep. JR Hoell’s ripped from the headlines rhetorical statement about a complex and important issue address by the house when it passed by the House with a resounding voice vote. Rep. Hoell’s bill was not needed.
House Bill 1432 as amended would halted Common Core testing after 2016 until the state completed a study of whether the tests were effective. Current testing could continue while the state conducted the study. It was defeated 183-150.
It was a lot more complicated than that. The amendment that emerged from committee was hastily written and confusing – and ended up only allowing the Smarter Balanced assessment to be given for one year before legislation would have been required to continue it. It was not ready for prime time.
House Bill 1496 would have barred school districts from administering any tests that are not shown to be valid or appropriate, or which cannot be objectively scored. The House voted 210-123 to hold it for further study.
Another Rep. Hoell bill based on rumors.
All of these bills were crafted to provide more information about Common Core and its mandatory test. Although the standards contain questionable materials, and the rigor of the standards and the tests remains unknown, a majority of the Democratic-led House decided this week that parents simply did not need to know anything else about them now. The message is clear: Obey the “experts,” don’t ask questions, and really, please, just go away.
Ask any teacher who has used them whether the standards contain questionable material or insufficient rigor.