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New Hampshire reaffirms its commitment to the Common Core and the Smarter Balanced assessment

Yesterday and today, in six separate roll call votes, the New Hampshire House refused to pass a single anti-Common Core bill on to the Senate.  All those bills were voted either Inexpedient to Legislate or Interim Study. (more…)

Four remaining Common Core and annual assessment bills coming from the Education Committee today

The HB 1397 study committee proposal was defeated on Tuesday, 228-77.  Here are the remaining four bills about the Common Core and the Smarter Balanced assessment in the order in which the House will take them up today.

HB1239 -FN-L (testimony here) This is a “sand in the gears” bill to bring adoption of education standards to a halt.  It would be hard to ever adopt a new standard again.  No law or regulation has to endure this level of process.  Among other things, the bill requires the department to hold hearings in each executive council district.  Committee recommendation: ITL, 13-6

Sponsors: Cordelli, Boehm, Hoell, Harris, Murotake, Reagan, Cataldo, Marston

HB1432 (testimony here) was amended out of existence in the education committee but is still listed here in case it comes back as a floor amendment.  If HB 1432 were to pass, New Hampshire would be in violation of federal law. The State would risk going back to AYP and losing $116 million in federal funding.  It was never clear what the bill actually said, but my best guess is here.  The main problems with the bill are listed here.  Committee recommendation: Interim Study on amended version.

Sponsors: Murotake, Boehm, Cordelli, Kelley, Sanborn

HB 1432 committee amendment is a hastily written amendment that, unlike the original bill, would allow NHDOE to administer the Smarter Balanced assessment for one year but would require legislative action by the new Legislature next year to continue Smarter Balanced, making the annual assessment a political decision.  Here are the details.  Committee recommendation: Interim Study, 8-7

Sponsors: Murotake, Ladd

HB 1496 would prevent the Smarter Balanced Assessment from being used.  The bill is a collection of blog quotes about what’s wrong with the Smarter Balanced assessment and never became a serious contender for OTP.  Committee recommendation: Interim Study, 15-3

Sponsor is Hoell

HB 1508-FN (testimony here) is a one sentence bill that seeks to “terminate all plans, programs, activities, and expenditures relative to the implementation of the common core….any assessments and instruction based upon such standards.” This bill would shut down real teaching in New Hampshire public schools, which have been implementing the Common Core for 4 years, and have no alternative education standard or assessment.  Committee recommendation: ITL, 13-6

Sponsors: Peterson, Baldasaro, Tucker, Bick, Harris, Murotake, Cormier, LeBrun, Notter, Infantine.

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.

(more…)

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.

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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…)

Interesting exchange about Common Core costs in other states: it sure doesn’t cost much!

After his bill was ravaged in its hearing before the House Education Committee, Rep. Glenn Cordelli sent this email to his committee colleagues, together with these attachments, to make the case that other states had found the Common Core expensive to implement.  Rep. Myler responded that, based on the information Rep. Cordelli had sent, the opposite was the case – these states had determined that the new standards had not cost much at all!  And our experience in New Hampshire confirms that.

From Rep. Cordelli:

From: “Cordelli, Glenn” <Glenn.Cordelli@leg.state.nh.us>
To: “~House Education Committee” <HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us>
Subject: HB 1239 follow-up

Good afternoon.
I just wanted to follow-up on some of the discussion yesterday related to HB 1239 about other states doing analysis of implementation costs.
I have attached Common Core fiscal analysis from Indiana, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Washington St (see tables 8&9).
In addition, below are links to additional information:

Tennessee:
http://www.tncore.org/faqs.aspx

California:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ca/commoncore.asp

Virginia:
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/news/news_releases/2010/jun24.pdf

Thanks for your consideration.
Glenn

From Rep. Myler:

Fellow Education Committee member Rep. Mel Myler responded with the email below, including this attachment.

Rep. Cordelli,

Thank you for these links in your recent email.  However, I have found that these reports are much too voluminous and prohibitive for a detailed study.  Time just does not permit my total review of the data.  Must leave this to the professionals who are paid for critical analysis.  However, in scanning the material I did find some interesting information.  [See attached “Common Core – Fiscal Issues: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Washington, Tennessee“]

(more…)

Liberty legislators reconvene to oppose the Common Core

Here is a press conference organized by Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton), apparently in support of all five of the bills seeking to end the Common Core in New Hampshire.

This gathering of public education opponents included former representative Greg Hill, most famous for saying that the goal of private school vouchers is to get “as many students as possible out of the ‘system‘.”  Lenette Peterson (R-Merrimack), who speaks second, wanted to abolish DOE and end compulsory school attendance in the last Legislature and proposes in the current session (HB 1508) to end the Common Core in New Hampshire.  Ralf Boehm (R-Litchfield) is there.  Although he is a member of the House Education Committee, he supported bills in the last Legislature to end universal kindergarten and lower the dropout age.  Freshman legislator David Murotake (R-Nashua) is there too.  He has sponsored three of the five anti-Common Core bills.  And then there are the Cornerstone and other liberty advocates who frequently testify for vouchers and against the Common Core.

(more…)

Bill to obstruct adoption of new education standards in New Hampshire called costly and burdensome to schools

Summary

HB 1239 imposes extensive new processes and reporting requirements on NHDOE and the school districts as part of the process of adopting new educational standards.

The over-all theme of the testimony opposing HB 1239 was that

  • The intention of the bills was to put up road blocks to the adoption of new standards.
  • HB 1239 would require a lot of extra work from 176 local school districts and impose an unnecessary burden.
  • That additional work would carry a much higher cost than reflected in the fiscal note but the bill does not fund that local cost.
  • Implementing new standards is a normal part of doing a school’s business and there is no additional cost of implementing the Common Core or any other new standards.
  • Although the bill’s cost is high, the analysis required would be incomplete because it does not compare the cost of implementing the new standards to the cost of operating the schools without the new standards.
  • Since on-line testing products have been widely used in New Hampshire  for many years, administrators anticipate no significant difficulty in using the Smarter Balanced test.

The Testimony

Rep. Cordelli presents his bill, HB 1239, as a simple call for open and transparent governance and better communications. But a many who gave testimony disagreed with him.

Long time disability rights advocate Bonnie Dunham set the tone, testifying that,

“This bill attempts to put up road blocks that impose burdensome hurdles that the state would have to overcome or jump over before they could implement any new state standards – which would essentially put the process as a grinding halt.

“I can’t see how that would benefit our children.

“The requirement that public hearings be held in each executive council district is burdensome because the state doesn’t even require that when it passes laws or rules.  I don’t know why we should go that far above and beyond in implementing new educational policy.  It just doesn’t seem necessary.”

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