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NH Sheriff: Early childhood education can curb crime and help communities prosper

In an opinion piece in the Concord Monitor, Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard advocates for early childhood education, citing evidence that early support ultimately helps curb teen pregnancy, crime, and even drug use–a growing problem in the Granite State: (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…)

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.

Mom Lee Laughlin researched the arguments on both sides and supports the standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment

In an article for the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire-based writer Lee Laughlin writes that the anti-testing rhetoric is so obscure that she needs to rely on her communications degree to decipher the message. A parent of school-aged children, she has heard the arguments both for and against the Smarter Balanced assessment that New Hampshire and many other states use, has done her research, and had her son take the test this year: (more…)

Bill Walker accuses DOE of bullying in UL column, but gets it wrong

Bill Walker, a member of the Republican County Committee in Sullivan County, accused the Department of Education of “bullying” Croydon students in his Union Leader “Another View” column, when in fact, they are merely enforcing the law. (more…)

Manchester continues its anti-assessment push via its letter to parents describing opt-out procedure

The Union Leader reported on the Board of School Committee’s letter to parents explaining how they can pull their children from the statewide assessments in the coming weeks.  (more…)