In discussing Learn Everywhere at their March 14 meeting, SBOE members appeared to consider the program viable only if Learn Everywhere groups were granted a free pass to issue graduation credits at any New Hampshire high school. There seemed to be a feeling that there would be no point to the program if SB 140 passed.
SB 140 merely reaffirms current practice. It says, “Each local school board shall determine whether to grant academic credit for alternative, extended learning, and work-based programs.”
But there’s another way to see the Learn Everywhere program. Seen as a partnership between local school boards and the State Board of Education, Learn Everywhere could serve as SBOE’s effort to expand the highly successful Extended Learning Opportunities program already in place in most New Hampshire high schools.
In the partnership approach, SBOE would recruit and vet groups and guide them in developing the capacity to provide credible ELO programs. The board could involve school districts in the licensing process itself, helping Learn Everywhere groups develop their programs. Then, before involving students, Learn Everywhere groups would shop their propose programs to the school districts. The high school ELO staffs could provide feedback on what it would take for that program to gain local approval. They would act as the state board’s quality control mechanism.
Over time, as Learn Everywhere gained credibility and became institutionalized, the SBOE imprimatur would facilitate local acceptance and speed up the process.
SBOE has no need to await legislation. The board could incorporate the SB 140 language into the Ed 1400 rule. The controversy would evaporate and the board would be in a great new partnership with its schools.
I don’t understand what the point of “Learn Anywhere” is supposed to be. If you are interested in making ELO’s more available why not make funding available? Right now, more the 50% of school districts are struggling to offer the mandated basics as their funding shrinks every year. Why push a new program that puts new demands on the DOE board and school staff? Just find the program you have.
I agree with Janine
I sent this message to the NHSBOE today. Mark Hounsell
Honorable NH State Board of Education
I understand the NHSBOE intends to hold a nonpublic meeting to discuss the proposed rules for Learn Everywhere sometime on March 18, 2019. I am quite certain this is not allowed under RSA 91A. Accordingly, I respectfully request that the NHSBOE adhere to the intent and spirit of the Right to Know law (including proper posting) and hold this proposed meeting in full view of the public who will be impacted.
Please consider this request as assurance that should the board attempt to identify and declare who they unilaterally believe are stakeholders they will have added yet another negative dimension to the discussion of the highly controversial (and to many objectionable) Learn Everywhere proposed rules.
Mark Hounsell Stakeholder
Mark, Monday’s meeting is not being run by the NHSBOE. It is Commission Edelblut’s meeting and he’s the one that organized it. I don’t believe that the Board members are even invited. Several Board members, especially Helen Honorow and myself, made it quite evident on Thursday that unless local control is maintained with this policy, we are very much opposed to it. Local districts must be able to maintain the integrity of their diplomas! Cindy Chagnon
I appreciate your diligence and position. This so called stakeholders meeting is a blatant attempt to force the implementation of a rule many deem not in the best interests of public education.
We should all be concerned whenever any agency anoints themselves with the authority to determine who is and who is not a stakeholder or when they decide by themselves when and how any sovereign school district must give their own property (i.e. diploma credits) away.
In addition to the proposal itself I have real concerns that the NHDOE is turning into an unyielding autocracy. Nonpublic meetings such as this one are not acceptable. If one group from the public is invited we all should be..Thank you for you good work.
Mark Hounsell Stakeholder
I think that many of your concerns are widely shared, Mark.
As to this meeting in particular, While it is being convened by the commissioner, the meeting is being held in support of the board’s rule making process so it is ultimately the board’s responsibility. Therefore, as soon as I heard about it, I requested that the board’s attorney, from the Attorney General staff, provide the statutory cite that would support holding a non-public, non-posted meeting to provide feedback from the public on a proposed rule. I have have not received a response but will post it when I do.