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There is a large gap between legitimate skeptical inquiry and ideological defiance – Rep. Mel Myler on the floor of the NH House

Here are the comments of Rep. Mel Myler (D-Contoocook) speaking in support of the committee recommendation, Inexpedient to Legislate, on HB 1508, the one sentence bill that would have ended the Common Core in New Hampshire.  The vote was 201-138, including 17 Republicans, in favor of killing the bill.  Mel had to have been directly responsible for some of those votes.

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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.

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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…)

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

Summary

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…)

NH Education Commissioner Virginia Barry: it’s time to move on from this Common Core debate

After a long morning of Common Core testimony, first on HB 1239, the bill apparently intended to obstruct the adoption of any new academic standards (testimony here), and HB 1508, the one sentence bill to end New Hampshire’s use of the Common Core and the Smarter Balanced test (testimony here), Commissioner Virginia Barry closed the day with a impassioned plea that we should not allow a small group of opponents prevent New Hampshire public education from moving on to help children.

Given in an obscure House committee room, Dr. Barry’s testimony (covered here, in the Union Leader) is an important statement about the direction and priorities of the Department of Education.

Below is the the Commissioner’s full testimony

House Bill 1508

This bill requires the State Board of Education to terminate all plans, programs, activities and expenditures relative to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards which have been adopted or may be adopted by the state board, including any assessment and instruction based upon such standards.

TESTIMONY OF VIRGINIA M. BARRY, COMMISSIONER

New Hampshire Department of Education 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Madame Chair and trusted House members: I am Virginia Barry, Commissioner of Education for the State of New Hampshire. I come to you today distressed given the fact that we are in our seventh year of discussion on the Common Core State Standards. Many schools are in their third year of implementation, others are in their second and first.  Thousands of teachers, leaders, parents and school boards have committed to improving standards in public education. Many of these stakeholders are confused by how a small, loud group of misinformed individuals continues to distort information regarding Common Core State Standards.

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