Sununu signs school assessment test opt-out

May 30, 2018
assessment test opt-out

Gov. Chris Sununu signed HB 1744, which gives parents and guardians the right to opt students out of statewide assessment tests.

HB 1744 states that a school cannot penalize a student that opts out. The bill also prohibits the state from penalizing a school district that has a lower participation rate in statewide assessment tests.

Bill supporters argue that parents have the right to guide the education of their children. Statewide assessment tests have been criticized for many reasons, including their reliance on Common Core curriculum.

Senate passes assessment opt-out

Apr 20, 2018
assessment test opt-out

On Thursday, April 19 the state Senate passed a bill that allows parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests, without penalty.

The bill, HB 1744, now heads to Gov. Chris Sununu for his signature or veto.

Demand for a law to opt-out

State law requires each school district to administer assessment tests at least once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school. These assessment tests are used to evaluate school performance.

NH gets strong rating for school accountability

Nov 20, 2017

According to a new ranking from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, New Hampshire is one of just eight states with a strong accountability system for state schools.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is a conservative nonprofit thinktank focused on education policy.

The Institute evaluated state accountability systems for schools in three categories:

Lower standardized test scores in NH

Oct 25, 2017

New Hampshire has the final results for last year's standardized assessment tests, and students in grades 3 through 8 scored lower in both math and English.

Are students and teachers failing?

Overall there was a 3% decline in students scoring proficient in English, and a 2% decline in math.

At first glance, it seems there was a shortcoming in teaching last year. Usually scores improve year over year as students and teachers become more familiar with a test.

NH Dept. of Education announces vendor for new standardized tests

Sep 16, 2017
assessment tests

On September 13 the New Hampshire Department of Education announced that American Institutes for Research (AIR) will develop new statewide assessment tests in English and mathematics.

The assessment tests will replace the Smarter Balanced assessments, which are affiliated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

However, Common Core is still the basis of New Hampshire's education standards, so the new assessment tests will still judge how well students are mastering Common Core material.

Legislators start filing 2018 bills

Sep 12, 2017
2018 bills

Last week New Hampshire legislators started filing requests for 2018 bills.  Here are some of the highlights so far.

Medicaid Expansion

One of the first bill requests would continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program.  Without legislation, New Hampshire's program will end December 31, 2018. 

Committee recommends bill against Common Core

Jun 16, 2017
common core

A conference committee of representatives and senators is recommending the full House and Senate pass a bill that bans the state from requiring schools to use Common Core educational standards. The bill, SB 44, also requires the state Board of Education to consult the Legislature before it implements any new curriculum standards going forward. 

Should NH review math and English standards?

Jun 09, 2017
Common Core math

On Thursday, May 8 the state Board of Education heard testimony from the public on whether or not the state should reconsider its public school standards for English and math.

Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut asked the board to consider a review of the standards, which are based on Common Core. 

Local school districts do not have to use the standards for their curriculum, but annual state assessment tests are based on Common Core.

Common Core assessment opt-out?

Jan 03, 2017

Rep. J.R. Hoell is sponsoring a 2017 bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests. 

Federal law requires states to track school performance with assessment tests. New Hampshire uses the Smarter Balanced Assessment based on Common Core curriculum.

Critics of the Smarter Balanced Assessment argue the test is not a valid measure of learning, wastes classroom time, and is biased against English language learners.

What laws you can expect from the Republicans

Nov 10, 2016

New Hampshire’s delegation in Washington, D.C. is now all Democratic, but Republicans control the legislative and executive branches in New Hampshire.

Republican Chris Sununu won the governorship.

The Executive Council will include Democrats Chris Pappas and Andru Volinsky and Republicans Joseph Kenney, Russell Prescott, and Dave Wheeler.

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