Advancing New Hampshire Public Education

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Education Bills

LSR 2190 relates to the appropriation of taxes to the school building aid fund

LSR 2190 relates to the appropriation of taxes to the school building aid fund

Title: “Relative to the provision allowing operators to retain a portion of meals and rooms taxes collected and the appropriation of meals and rooms tax revenues to school building aid” Sponsor: Rep. Michael Cahill (D-Newmarket)

LSR 2161 relates to the teachers’ voting requirement for becoming a charter conversion school

LSR 2161 relates to the teachers’ voting requirement for becoming a charter conversion school

Title: “Relative to the teachers’ voting requirement for becoming a charter conversion school” Sponsors: Rep. Gregory Hill (R-Northfield), Senator John Reagan (District 17), Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom)

LSR 2160 removes the limitation of charter schools incurring long term debt

LSR 2160 removes the limitation of charter schools incurring long term debt

Title: “Removing the limitation on a chartered public school incurring long term debt” Sponsors: Rep. Gregory Hill (R-Northfield), Senator John Reagan (District 17), Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom)

LSR 2131 sets policies regarding public charter schools

LSR 2131 sets policies regarding public charter schools

Title: “Relative to policies regarding public charter schools” Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Horrigan (D-Durham)

LSR 2115 sets requirements for private schools that contract with school districts

LSR 2115 sets requirements for private schools that contract with school districts

Title: “Relative to the requirements for private schools that contract with school districts” Sponsor: Rep. Tamara Le (D-North Hampton)

“We cannot fix what we cannot measure”–Civil Rights groups come out against opt-out movement

A coalition of civil rights groups, including the NAACP and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights have released a statement condemning the various anti-testing efforts emerging in some states: (more…)

Stanford Education Professor: Math is more about deep understanding than memorization — Hechinger Report

In an article for the Hechinger Report, Stanford mathematics Professor Jo Boaler argues that, contrary to popular belief, true math skills come from deep understanding rather than memorization.  This erroneous assumption is widespread and detrimental to math learners who come to believe they simply aren’t “math people.”

The Common Core math standards do, she says, recognize the value of conceptual learning in math, opening the door for more math learners:

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Have you heard confusing rumors about PACE and HB 323? Here are the facts you need.

The bill has become a lightning rod for people who just plain oppose NHDOE, some of whom want to shut it down.  But most legislators will acknowledge that the criticisms are baseless.

House Education Committee chair Rick Ladd (R-Haverhill) wrote HB 323 as an expression of legislative support for the hard work done by four New Hampshire school districts and the department of education in creating a way for local classroom based assessments to replace some standardized tests.  Here is some background on New Hampshire’s innovative PACE program.

HB 323 passed the House with an overwhelmingly positive voice vote but has drawn opposition from some in the Senate based on serious misinformation provided by opponents of competency based education. (more…)

Governor Hassan vetoes SB 101, prohibiting the state from requiring school districts to implement the Common Core standards

Voicing strong support for the Common Core standards and high expectations for our students, Governor Hassan today vetoed SB 101, saying

“…allowing it to become law would have real and lasting consequences to New Hampshire’s economic competitiveness by sending a damaging signal that our state is not committed to the education standards necessary to prepare a 21st century workforce.

….there is no need to pass a law exempting districts from compliance. School districts are already well aware that they have such a choice.

….Common Core has the support of educators and businesses, and of Republicans and Democrats. As this bill has no practical impact, its purpose appears to be that of sending a message, and it is the wrong message.”

Read Governor Hassan’s full message here.

Common thread in successful Common Core adoption: Trust Teachers!

A recent study released by the Center for American Progress suggests that teacher empowerment is the key factor in successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards.

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Models of excellence can help elevate conversation around Common Core and student potential

In a column for Education Week, Rob Berger, Chief Academic Officer for Expeditionary Learning, argues that in order to have an open and honest conversation about Common Core and higher standards, policymakers and educational leaders need models of student work that demonstrate academic excellence and student potential. Without examples of student potential, it is easy for Common Core critics to use the familiar lines–the standards are not age appropriate, they are too difficult, etc. (more…)

In districts experimenting with new tests, writing questions is only half the task–NHPR

NHPR chronicled the challenging process that four school districts are undertaking to roll out the highly anticipated PACE project. Teachers have been meeting with each other and the NH-based Center for Assessment to develop the assessment questions and to calibrate them, a process that ensures uniform grading among classrooms and districts. While the assessments aren’t “standardized,” in the usual meaning of the term, they do need to be comparable across districts to be valid measures of student learning, making the calibration process crucial in order for the PACE project to work. (more…)

Former governor of Arizona rallies support of Common Core as state fights battles similar to ours in New Hampshire

In a letter to the Daily Caller, former Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer defends the state’s decision to adopt the Common Core standards and calls for action against its opponents. Common Core has become a political issue, with opponents trying to undermine the standards by attacking elements of implementation. But Brewer, a Republican, openly advocates for the standards: (more…)

Some thoughts on the Common Core from Kentucky teachers

The Common Core standards are successful in classrooms all over the country, not just here in New Hampshire.  Here a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter conveys telling quotes from Kentucky teachers. (more…)

Op-Ed: State Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio Reviews Standards, Testing Policy

In an op-ed in the Concord Monitor today (here is a full version with links to the statutes discussed), Chairman of the NH State Board of Education and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental Tom Raffio reviewed the State Board’s role in education policy and setting education standards. Fundamentally, Mr. Raffio reminds us that “[i]t may seem at times as if the State Board of Education and the Department of Education create policy. We do not. We implement the policies passed by our Legislature.”

With so much misinformation circulating about education standards and assessments, Mr. Raffio sets the record straight: state standards and accompanying tests have been in place in New Hampshire since the early 1990s. State law requires educational standards, while specifically emphasizing the importance of local control in meeting those standards.

Raffio clarifies a number of other hot-button education issues. On opting-out, Raffio reminds us that while no one likes standardized tests, they’re simply a part of life–from getting a driver’s license to going to college to joining the military. They also give parents and teacher valuable information about student progress, and help add accountability to our schools.

Read Raffio’s full op-ed here.