Members of the State Board of Education,
I comment for the record on the Initial Proposal of the Ed 1400 rules, the Learn Everywhere program.
The statute itself, RSA 193-E:2-a, V, reads like a extension of the ELO programs thriving in many of our schools. But the proposed rule reads like an alternative to public education. In fact, the recent Union Leader oped seemed to frame it that way. Ms. Kerry McDonald said that Learn Everywhere would “….[loosen] the grip of schooling on education.….[W]e urgently need a new model of education….”
The board may not have that ambitious a goal, but what makes it possible for people to see it this way is that the state board, in effect, takes over responsibility for all New Hampshire’s locally issued diplomas in this section of the proposed rule (emphasis added):
Ed 1406.02 Issuing Credit for Graduation.(a) Certificates shall be used to grant credit for graduation.(b) The student shall submit the completion certificate to the high school where they wish to be granted credit, or they shall not receive credit.(c) Approved New Hampshire schools shall grant students with valid completion certificates high school credit leading to graduation in the area enumerated.
If that were to happen and the Learn Everywhere program were to grow to some scale, the state board would have taken diplomas out of local hands. Neither parents nor post-secondary institutions would be able trust that graduation credits granted by our high schools would be guaranteed by the communities and school boards that issued them.
So, while various Ed 1400 provisions may merit debate, I would propose only that the word “shall” be changed to “may.” That would enable the board to develop an innovative program while leaving control of locally issued diplomas where it belongs.
Bill Duncan, New Castle