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Common Core opt out?

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Rep. Rick Ladd (R-Haverhill) is sponsoring a 2015 bill that allows school districts to opt out of the Common Core educational standards.

The text of that bill is not yet public, but Ladd told the Concord Monitor schools wishing to opt out "would need to identify academic standards that exceed the state standards."

Critics of Common Core say the standards are too strict, too lax, experimental, or even anti-American.  Last year Manchester and some other school districts rejected Common Core and wrote their own standards. 

However, Rep. Mary Stuart Gile (D-Concord) thinks Ladd's 2015 bill will unnecessarily add confusion to the debate over Common Core, since schools already have the ability to adapt the standards to their districts' needs.

The Concord Monitor article did not discuss how the bill is intended to affect the Smarter Balanced assessment test, which is based on Common Core.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, state and federal laws require schools to participate in statewide assessments, and any schools that do not participate stand to lose federal funding. 

However, critics of the Smarter Balanced assessment - including Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas - argue the test is an inappropriate measure of learning, especially among English language learners.

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