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Union Leader tries but fails to spin the Common Core message from the NH House

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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.

via Common Core message: You don’t need to know, House says | New Hampshire Editorials.


  1. Two key questions.
    Do the teachers represent the parents and children?
    Are the standards watering down education to close the gaps?
    That is what it is all about.
    Is Obama education like Obama health care.
    Jamed right down your throat.

    • Bill Duncan says:

      The attempt the make the Common Core the next Obamacare says it all. Opposition is political and not a serious challenge on an educational basis.

      Teachers definitely represent parents. They are hired by elected school boards. And if the kids don’t respond, teachers’ jobs are in jeopardy.

  2. Common Core and the aligned testing STANDARDIZES public education. Is that good or bad? Depends how much money you have. All public schools will provide the same WORKFORCE training for lifelong labor. Elite private schools, like Phillips Exeter Academy where the governor’s husband presides and Sidwell Friends School where Obama’s girls attend, refuse to implement Common Core because they are training tomorrow’s LEADERS. Follow the money. Most education vendors support Common Core because it’s a cash cow that doesn’t stop giving.

    • Bill Duncan says:

      I hear the rhetoric, Doris, but I don’t see the reality behind it. There will always be elite private schools that, attendees and their families must hope, offer a superior education (although many don’t). So what else is new? What knowledge do you actually have about whether and how they might use the Common Core?

      Secondly, the new standards aren’t that big a deal. They are comparable to but better than our former standards. Why object to these standards now when they’re pretty similar to what NH has used for the last 15 years?

  3. Jim B says:

    You mention that 1262 was somehow not needed. Explain why any company needs PII without your consent about your children?

    • Bill Duncan says:

      What company do you have in mind, Jim B. Name one company that has or will have PII of NH kids. My point, as I said in the post, is that HB 1587 is the serious privacy bill. Rep. Hoell’s bill was not needed.

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