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SBOE’s Learn Everywhere testimony was loud and clear: “We don’t need a new program. Support the great Extended Learning Opportunities we already have!”

Here is the Reaching Higher NH video of the State Board of Education public hearing on the Department of Education’s proposed Ed 1400 rules, which the department calls “Learn Everywhere.”  Most of yesterday’s presenters also submitted written testimony which, together with the additional written comments the board will have received by the February 20 deadline, will be in the public record and will be posted here when made available.

And here is Reaching Higher’s thorough and reliable writeup on the hearing.  We will not try to improve on that here, but will make a couple of observations. (more…)

More superintendent feedback on Learn Everywhere, this from Lisa Witte, Monadnock Regional

January 28th, 2019

New Hampshire State Board of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

Dear Members of the State Board of Education;

As a public school educator with over two decades of experience, I wholeheartedly support personalized learning and extended learning opportunities for students. Now more than ever, learning experiences that occur beyond brick and mortar school buildings and traditional classrooms are an integral part of developing the skills it takes for the students of today to succeed in the 21st century – and beyond. (more…)

Comment on Learn Everywhere from Berlin Superintendent Corinne Cascadden

We have been making the point that school districts work hard to ensure that their diplomas fit their students needs and are credible.  In expressing her own opposition to the Learn Everywhere program, Berlin Superintendent Corinne Cascadden sent the following comment to the State Board of Education on that very issue:

“Public School educators undertake a rigorous process for certification/licensing and schools make team decisions on what course of study is deserving of credits towards graduation. Allowing anyone who may or may not hold education credentials to propose course credit sets up for a “free-for-all” platform. We support personalized learning. Our schools are engaged in that process. There must be good checks and balances for our students to succeed and be valuable for the workforce. Why not depend on the professionalism of public school employees.”

This is sure to be a widely shared view.

 

Full court press for vouchers redux: Learn Everywhere

Learn Everywhere is clearly an all-hands-on-deck effort for Commissioner Edelblut and the national network of school choice advocates.

Here is video of the commissioner spending a Saturday morning with the School District Governance Association of New Hampshire, seeking to “help elected school district officials discover their powers….and resume their role of keeping schools and administration accountable to taxpayers.”  In a talk called “The Future of Schooling,” the theme of yesterday’s Union Leader op-ed, he is asking school board members to communicate with their superintendents and the State Board of Education in support of his Learn Everywhere proposal. (more…)

Letter to the State Board of Education commenting on the Learning Everywhere program

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):

(more…)

Vouchers revisited: “Public Education is much broader than public schooling.”

Today’s Union Leader carries an oped that sets out clearly the new theme for those who would have talked in the past about “school choice”, “parental choice”, “government school monopoly” or how voucher funded private schools outperform public schools.

You saw this theme first when now Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said at his Executive Council confirmation hearing that he intended to be responsible for all New Hampshire children, not just public school students.

And Senator John Reagan is proposing SB 280 which would almost double the state adequacy benchmark to $7,500 per student by increasing the Statewide Education Property Tax.  At the same time, the bill would count all private, religious and home schooled students in the calculation of a community’s adequacy grant and allow school boards to send any child to a private or religious school.

In other words, rather than fight the losing battle for a high profile statewide voucher program, SB 280 would issue vouchers locally that would use full state funding and local property taxing power to send students to private schools. (more…)

Two opportunities this week to email or testify against the “Learn Everywhere” proposal to hijack high school diplomas

We’ve posted about the threat posed by the education department’s proposed “Learn Everywhere” program.  And here’s an oped appearing in papers around the state making the same case, that Learn Everywhere is actually a fundamental threat to the integrity of the high school diplomas granted by every district in the State. (more…)

House Education Committee votes 17-3 to return the stabilization fund to 2016 levels

HB 177, for which a public hearing was held two weeks ago, was amended to go back to the 2016 level.  The original bill only went back to 2018 levels. Rep. Luneau brought the amendment and will take the bill to the House floor.  Rep. Luneau, Ladd, Boehm, Myler, and others spoke strongly about the urgency of the bill.

Rep.  Cordelli wanted only to go back to 2018 levels and he will speak for the minority on the House floor.

(writeup from John Tobin)

HB 569, the “innovation school” bill, would give the State Board of Education the power to override New Hampshire statutes

At 11:15 on Wednesday, February 6th, the House Education Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 569, a bill that gives the commissioner of education, with the approval of the state board, the authority to override virtually every New Hampshire statute about education.

The bill uses innovation language but there is no statement of purpose or goals so you must read through lists of powers to see what is going on. (more…)

John Streeter’s school funding testimony to the House Education Committee: Local education isn’t local anymore.

Here is a somewhat shortened version (with emphasis added) of the testimony John Streeter presented to the House Education Committee concerning school funding.  (Read his full testimony here.) He provides a detailed rationale for funding education primarily at the state level instead of through local property taxes: (more…)