I received word yesterday that the New Hampshire House and Senate both approved SB 0101 which makes the Common Core voluntary for schools to use.
“I would like to thank the NH Senate and House for passing an important piece of legislation today that if signed by the Governor, prohibits the state from requiring implementation of Common Core Standards,” said Ann Marie Banfield, Cornerstone Action’s education liaison.
“Parents, students and teachers across New Hampshire sent letters and testified in support of SB101 based on the problems they are seeing in their local schools with the implementation of Common Core. SB101 clarifies that Common Core is not a mandate on schools and that they are free to use better academic standards in their district,” Banfield stated.
Banfield also said parents need to act. “Parents need to now call/send e-mails to Governor Hassan to listen to the people of New Hampshire and sign SB101 into law. It’s time to let everyone know she is starting to listen to the many people who expect leadership on this important issue.”
Below is the pertinent text of the bill that goes to the Governor’s desk.
(a) The school approval standards for the areas identified in paragraph I shall constitute the opportunity for the delivery of an adequate education. The general court shall periodically, but not less frequently than every 10 years, review, revise, and update, as necessary, the standards identified in paragraph I and shall ensure that the high quality of the standards is maintained. Changes made by the board of education to the school approval standards through rulemaking after the effective date of this section shall not be included within the standards that constitute the opportunity for the delivery of an adequate education without prior adoption by the general court. The board of education shall provide written notice to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairs of the house and senate education committees of any changes to the school approval standards adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
(b) The common core state standards developed jointly by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers shall not be required by the department of education or the state board of education to be implemented in any school or school district in this state.
The state still mandates Smarter Balanced so whether or not schools opt for different standards is questionable. The largest school district in the state, Manchester, has did so in 2013. It is still a step in the right direction provided the Governor signs the bill.