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House Education Committee testimony by Milgram and Stotsky has no news for New Hampshire


Drs. Milgram and Stotsky have made a career of traveling the country opposing the Common Core on the basis that all the other participants are engaged in a conspiracy and that only Milgram and Stotsky know how to teach math and English.

They both submitted testimony to the New Hampshire House Education Committee making those very points.  Here is James Milgram testimony to NH House Education Committee and here is Stotsky’s. (more…)

Kimberly Kelliher, social studies teacher and curriculum leader at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton, testifies based on her first hand Common Core experience

Kim Kelliher’s school, Prospect Mountain High School, is jointly managed as SAU#301 by Alton and Barnstead.  Each town has its own K-8 elementary/middle school. (more…)

Sanborn Regional Superintendent, Dr. Brian Blake: Common Core cost is low, rigor is high, technology is no problem. ITL the bad bills

Sanborn is years down the road implementing the Common Core.  Dr. Blake says they have not seen any increase in costs as a result of implementing the Common Core and talks about looking forward to the rigor of the assessment:

Dear Members of NH House Education Committee,

RE:  Testimony in support of the Common Core and related issues.

I am writing this email to share my thoughts in support of the Common Core and issues related to it.  As the Superintendent of Schools for the Sanborn Regional School District, I fully support the implementation of the Common Core and improved assessment practices.


Dr. Mark Joyce, head of the school administrators’ association testifies in support of the Common Core standards

Dear Members of NH House Education Committee,

RE: Testimony in support of the common core and improved assessment practices

I am writing this email to share my testimony in support of the use of the common core standards and improved assessment practices in our public schools. I know you have heard my testimony before on these subjects but I am unable to attend the new hearings and the recessed hearing this coming week in that I am traveling for work and training future school leaders.

In brief, the members of New Hampshire School Administrators Association and the members of New Hampshire Special Education Administrators Association have been and continue to be very committed to improving the rigor and coordination of K-12 curriculum as a vitally important way of ensuring that all NH’s children will be prepared for the challenges of living in and prospering in the 21 century. The so-called common core standards provide a valuable baseline or foundation on which individual NH school districts can build a solid and coordinated curriculum as guided by the local school board. In addition, these standards have been studied and adapted by NH educators since 2007 and now play an integral part in the everyday instruction in our schools. Given the ongoing development of more rigorous standards, schools throughout NH are engaged in developing more responsive assessments that will assist in measuring individual student progress towards higher standards. We believe the adaptive nature of new assessments like “Smarter Balance” and newly created local formative assessments provide instructional useful measures that will allow teachers, parents, students and leaders to continually improve learning.


The Common Core is right for a STEM career – Bill Duncan in the Concord Monitor

Common Core opponents use any hook they can for their critiques.  Recently, Dr. James Milgram, one of two former academics traveling the country to make the case against the Common Core, sent this testimony to the House Education Committee recently. (more…)

Dr. Elaine M. Arbour, Assistant Superintendent in Claremont testimony opposing the 5 Bad Bills to undermine the Common Core

Testimony in support of the common care and improved assessment practices

I am writing this email to share my testimony in support of the use of the common core standards and improved assessment practices in our public schools.

As Chair of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association’s Southwest Region’s Curriculum Administrators, I have frequent contact with my colleagues throughout the Southwest region and the state. During the course of our interactions, it has become clear to me that my colleagues support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as a means of improving the rigor and coordination of K-12 curriculum for New Hampshire’s children. (more…)

Even misinformation and heartstrings don’t make the sale for HB 1432 to suspend testing in NH


At a House Education Committee hearing Tuesday (recessed until 10:45, Tuesday, Feb. 18), Rep. David Murotake (R-Nashua) pitched HB 1432, his bill to suspend all annual testing in New Hampshire for two years, as a response to the call by the unions for a moratorium on “high-stakes testing.”  But that’s a pretty tough sell.  The unions aren’t calling for a testing moratorium and the test isn’t high-stakes in New Hampshire anyway.  Testing in New Hampshire has no stakes for the first two years and low stakes after that.

Key points from the hearing:

  • Rep. Murotake cited experience in troubled Common Core states like New York, although New York’s troubles come from many bad education reform policies that New Hampshire does not share (NY has just backed off its high stakes testing, which has been at the core of its problems.)
  • Rep. Bick asked Rep. Murotake whether New Hampshire had signed any agreements that would make suspending the assessments a problem.  Surprisingly, Rep. Murotake said he did not know.
  • But when Tom Raffio, President & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental and Chairman of the State Board of Education testified, he pointed out that the bill would cost New Hampshire $116 in federal funding and invalidate the State’s NCLB waiver.
  • Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro) testified about the need for testing to accommodate children with special needs, suggesting that this heartbreaking letter from the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition about a Florida bureaucrat’s  misguided effort to comply with No Child Left Behind requirement was the kind of thing New Hampshire would encounter if we continued testing our students.
  • Rep. Heath (D-Manchester) pointed out that HB 1432 prohibits any annual assessment, not just Smarter Balanced.  It also suspends the competency-based assessments around which school districts have reorganized their instruction.

Here is the Union Leader report on the hearing.  And here is more information on the bill itself.

Highlights from the Testimony

Rep. David Murotake (R-Nashua) introduced his bill with 12 minutes of testimony in which he got a remarkable number of things wrong.

New Hampshire education leadership on Murotake’s bill to suspend public education initiatives: “This bill will turn education back 30 years”

Here are some highlights from the Union Leader’s coverage of yesterday’s House Education Committee hearing on Rep. David Murotake’s HB 1432, one of the “5 Bad Bills” aimed at rolling back the Common Core in New Hampshire.

Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio urged the committee to kill Murotake’s bill and two others designed to either delay or terminate the state’s participation in the national initiative, warning that such measures could cost the state $100 million in federal funding and a waiver exempting it from requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

“This bill can potentially really damage public education in New Hampshire,” he said.

Scott McGilvray, president of the National Education Association in New Hampshire (NEA-NH), with 16,000 members, said opponents of Common Core should be working to improve the program, not upend it.


How to eviscerate New Hampshire public education in one paragraph

The House Education Committee held its public hearing yesterday on Rep. David Murotake’s HB 1432, one of the “5 Bad Bills” to end the Common Core in New Hampshire.  But Rep. Murotake, a member of the Nashua school board (which did not support his proposals when he submitted them as a resolution), goes the other 4 bills one better.  His bill looks like an attempt to beat up New Hampshire public education and leave it in a ditch.

HB 1432 takes NH education apart, top to bottom

HB 1432 says that for the next two years, contrary to federal law, there will be no annual academic assessment of any kind given in New Hampshire.  It doesn’t just prohibit Smarter Balanced.  It prohibits any annual test at all.

As a result of its first sentence alone, we would lose our waiver and go back to No Child Left Behind and “adequate yearly progress,” but that’s the least of it. New Hampshire schools would lose at least $116 million in federal funding as a result of outlawing the annual assessment, inflicting unconscionable pain on the State, especially our poorest children and their schools that depend on that funding for the math, reading and special education specialists who help at-risk students catch up.


Testimony on HB 1508 to shut down the Common Core and the Smarter Balanced test in New Hampshire


The highlight of the hearing was New Hampshire Education Commissioner Barry’s impassioned plea that, after 7 years, it is time to move on from the Common Core debate (video here)

The hearing started The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lenette Peterson (R-Merrimack) introduces her bill briefly, with an illustration of the problem in how the Common Core teaches math.  Other key points made it testimony: (more…)