Yesterday New Hampshire Education Commissioner Virginia Barry testified against HB 1508, a Common Core repeal bill being discussed in the House Education Committee.
I wanted to address some of what she said.
1. She says this takes away local control. NO it does not. IF this bill passes, it stops the STATE’s participation in the Common Core Standards. We would resort BACK to the OLD NH standards. OR if we really wanted high quality academic standards in this state, the NH DOE would do THEIR JOB and develop the BEST. That’s what parents WANT and are demanding. Districts could adopt any standards they felt were right for their schools.
2. The "Small, Loud and misinformed individuals" are the many people who oppose Common Core in this state and actually want something better. ie…MOMs. I’m actually surprised she didn’t use the term Sec. Duncan used: "White Suburban Moms"
AND MOMs are NOT misinformed and the group is getting BIGGER. Ok, we may be LOUD.
3. The Commissioner says the Common Core Standards raise the bar in this state. So why did they wait so long for National Standards?? Why wasn’t this a priority PRIOR to the Feds. bribing them with Race to the Top Money?? The OLD NH academic standards were developed under Gov. Lynch. Is she saying that under his direction as Governor and the leadership in the NH DOE, they failed and needed National standards in order to help our students? Why didn’t THEY do the job in the first place??
4. She is shocked that attention on raising standards would get negative attention. That negative attention was described by MOMs today who were explaining to the Committee how confused their kids are by this new Common Core math curriculum. Why is she shocked by parents who want something better for their children? I’m shocked that the NH DOE refuses to listen to these parents and dismisses their testimony.
5. First they told us not to be concerned about privacy. I believe it was a representative from Smarter Balanced at the Amherst meeting who later wrote a letter in the Seacoast news that said something about "crying wolf". Now they are singing the praises of Rep. Kurk’s legislation that seeks to re-instate privacy protection laws that Obama removed.
6. Commissioner Barry offered no information on the academic standards themselves. If they are so great, why not focus on the standards and tell us HOW or WHY they are so great?
Yes, this was testimony that clearly has the DOE on the defense. However this doesn’t explain WHY the NH DOE FAILED to first compare the NH Standards to the BEST standards in the country and ADOPT THOSE.
Where is Governor Hassan on this. Did you know she actually campaigned on improving the quality of the academic standards in NH?? So far…not a word from her office on that since she won.