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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.

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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…)

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.

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Tea party legislators on a “search and destroy mission” aimed at the NH Department of Education? You decide.

In 2012, the O’Brien legislature considered shutting down the New Hampshire Department of Education.  Now in the minority, opponents of public education have taken a different approach.  On January 28, 2014, Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) presented her bill, HB 1397, to authorize a stacked study committee  to go after DOE.

The thesis is that that DOE has gone rogue, establishing an unauthorized new division to implement the Common Core in a stealth mode.

There can be no doubt about the intention of the bill.  The study committee would be made up of 2 House Republicans, 2 House Democrats and one Republican appointed by the president of the Senate, a guaranteed Republican majority.  The next section, about Duties, sends the committee deep into conspiracy land to ferret out law-breaking within DOE.

The hearing brought Common Core opponents out in force, as you see on this highlight reel:

That’s not a recognizable portrait to most who deal with NHDOE.  Long time disability rights advocate Bonnie Dunham testified about how responsive DOE has been to her concerns and characterizes the bill as a “search and destroy mission.”

And here is Heather Gage, Director of the Division of Educational Improvement and Chief of Staff, New Hampshire Department of Education, responding to each issue raised by supporters.

There is little prospect that this bill will get serious support, but it will serve as an early indicator of where legislators stand on the Common Core.