This Week's Education Bills

On Tuesday, March 31st and April 1st the following bills will have public hearings in the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Concord, NH.

If you can't attend and testify in person, you can call or email the committee members listed below.  

Please support these two important bills:

Ask the SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE to SUPPORT House Bill 206:

HB 322 - relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material.

Ask the HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE to SUPPORT Senate Bill 101:

SB 101 - which prohibits the State from requiring any school district to implement the Common Core standards.   For more information on SB 101 read:

House Education Committee Votes on SB 101 --> Bill to Prohibit the State from Requiring Districts to Adopt Common Core

 


 

Senate Education Committee members:

 

John Reagan Chairman (R)

john.reagan111@gmail.com

(603)271-4063

Nancy Stiles V Chairman (R)

nancy.stiles@leg.state.nh.us

(603)271-3093

Kevin Avard  (R)

Kevin.Avard@leg.state.nh.us

(603)271-4151

Molly Kelly  (D)

molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us

(603)271-3207

David Watters(D)

david.watters@leg.state.nh.us

(603)271-8631

 

House Education Committee members:

Use a single email address to contact the committee:

HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

Or, contact the members individually:

House Education Committee Members: Email Committee Members
Chairman: Rick Ladd(r) Bills Currently in Committee
V. Chairman: John Balcom(r) Bills Originally Referred to Committee
Clerk: Barbara Shaw(d) Mailing list of Committee Members
 
 
 
Ralph Boehm (r) Glenn Cordelli (r) James Grenier (r)
Robert Elliott (r) Christopher Adams (r) Allen Cook (r)
Josh Moore (r) Jason Osborne (r) Victoria Sullivan (r)
Terry Wolf (r) Mary Gile (d) Mary Gorman (d)
June Frazer (d) Andrew Schmidt (d) Mel Myler (d)
Deanna Rollo (d) Mary Heath (d) James Verschueren (d)

LETTER: Teachers Forced into Implementing Common Core "by simply changing the name" and Collecting Student Data

To: Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education

From: Juli Sylvan, Math Teacher, Classen SAS

Date: March 5, 2015

 

Dear Board Member,

I am writing to make you aware of my concerns about issues that I, other teachers, and a growing number of parents have. Those issues are Common Core and its’ various components, the Teacher Leadership Effectiveness (TLE ), and data mining through testing and other instruments.

As you know, the Oklahoma Legislature passed HB 3399 in 2014 which repealed the use of Common Core components. In spite of this there are some who are blatantly defying this directive. I have been in meetings, as have many other teachers, in which it has been stated that Common Core will be implemented even if by simply changing the name.

Common Core is based on the false assumption that schools are failing. This is simply not true. Evidence continues to mount that testing has been manipulated resulting in a false picture and perception. Common Core is not simply a new method of teaching. It is a complete takeover of WHAT is taught in the public school system. It takes away the individuals freedom and joy of learning because of the one size fits all approach. All students don’t learn or express themselves in the same way. Common Core tends to do away with individualism – which is one of the attributes that makes America great. Diversity is one of our greatest resources, but Common Core erodes this great strength by taking parents, teachers, and elected officials out of the decision making process.

Teacher Leadership Effectiveness (TLE) is the instrument to force compliance and implementation of Common Core and its components. The Aspen Institute and CCSSO official document "Teaching To The Core: Integrating Implementation of Common Core and Teacher Effectiveness Policies", is a manifesto describing how TLE will be used to force implementation of Common Core. Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Professional Development (PD) are used to implement Common Core. Clearly, documents indicate, such as IES (research arm of the U.S. Department of Education), "State Requirements For Teacher Evaluation Policies Promoted By Race To The Top", April 2014 indicates, the new teacher evaluations are not about getting rid of ineffective teachers but to force all teachers and educational personnel to accept Common Core or be fired.

It would be reasonable to expect testing to include students' test scores and perhaps other measures of academic proficiency. Testing has its place but it must be developmentally appropriate and secure. It can be a useful tool to gage a student’s skills, growth and weaknesses. It should be confidential and for the benefit of parents, teachers, and students.

Unfortunately, testing is now being used to gather personal data about the student and/or the student’s family. Tests are collecting information far more extensive and invasive than merely tracking academic performance. The Department of Education’s February 2013 report.  Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century , and the National Center for Education Statistics technical brief entitled, "Guidance for Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS), are two of many documents that show the implementation of data collection of "Personally Identifiable Information" and "Sensitive Information".  Surprisingly the "Sensitive Information" being extracted is information such as:

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;

2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;

3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;

5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or

8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program). 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires that the data systems have the capacity to link preschool, K-12, postsecondary education, workforce, and other state agencies and community partners (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, and criminal justice agencies).  This data is being used to track and put students on a path that may be detrimental to what they and their parents desire.

The fact that past federal government acts such as No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top, require children’s and parent’s personal and sensitive information be collected, stored, and then will be sold and shared to unspecified companies and entities is of great concern to parents and teachers.

Oklahoma state law requires that parents be notified and given the opportunity to Opt Out of data collection instruments. HB 1384, effective November 1, 2014, provides "The Parents’ Bill of Rights" and requirements of school boards to inform and notify parents of their rights. Section 2003 of Title 25 reads in part;

HB 1384: Oklahoma Parents’ Bill of Rights

The ACT says...... Section 3 A7q

A. The board of education of a school district, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians of children enrolled in the schools within the school district, including:

7. Procedures by which parents may learn about parental rights and responsibilities under the laws of this state, including the following:

q. the right to opt out of any data collection instrument at the district level that would capture data for inclusion in the state longitudinal student data system except what is necessary and essential for establishing a student's public school record.

Furthermore, Title 25 & 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes further enumerates parent’s rights.

I have been teaching for over 22 years. I also have a BS in Civil Engineering. I have been evaluated many times over the years and have always been given the highest assessments. All of my evaluations clearly indicate that I am instructionally effective. But now, I am being singled out for refusing to do what Oklahoma Law prohibits.

I believe the problems we have in education stem from the takeover of education by the federal government. We in Oklahoma do not need to be told how to educate our children. We are capable of determining that for ourselves. I cannot promote a system that violates the law and the rights of students and their parents. Children’s and parent’s personal information is being mined through testing and surveys preparing them as human capital for the 21st century workforce for stockholders and "stakeholders".

Lily Williams, a Chinese immigrant grew up in communist China’s Cultural Revolution. She was an assistant law professor in China and came to America to pursue freedom. She states – "The first step of Communism is to take away your parental control of your children and indoctrinate them. If they control education and your children, they control the country’s future." "I am worried that Common Core will be used by government and corporations for data mining of our children."

She says there are things about Common Core that remind her of growing up in China. "That’s what we had in China…every child will have a file, actually every citizen in China has a so-called ‘personnel file.’ And this ‘personnel file’ will document everything. When you are in school, they document your family political class, your gender, your age, your home address, your grades, you behaviors, political correctness. So everything is in that file."

Williams speaks to one of the criticisms that teachers, students, and parents have about the high stakes testing. She says that "high school kids are even more miserable because of the pressure to perform — the pressure to pass college exams, which is the once a year nationalized exam for three days. And if you screw up one time, it’s like your life is done. You have to come back next year to retake the exam. That’s the only way you can go to college. "Some kids even commit suicide either before the test or after the test because the pressure is so big," Williams says. "So why do we want to become like China? Those kids have a low life. Those kids are miserable. It’s all about training them to be test-takers, test machines, not critical thinkers."

"Even though politics is a part of Chinese education, it eliminates its own history, like Mao’s mass starvation or Tiananmen Square, so the children don’t know what really happened in history."

"So, why do we want to be like China?" Williams asks. "Do not think test scores matter [like] it’s everything," she adds, "That kind of system actually suppresses free minds. It kills innovation, it kills the joys of learning." Williams goes on to say teachers become test-givers and children become robots.

"They are taught to conform, to follow," Williams says of students. "They are not going to challenge authority when they grow up." She concludes with this question: "Is that what we want for America? If we really want this country to remain to be land of the free, home of the brave," Williams says, "then we need to stop Common Core."

I am very sad we are allowing this to happen to our schools and our country. I pray that we will end this nonsense and return to the principle that made American great. Because of this I feel I must resign from a job that I have passionately pursued and must leave students that have been my life’s work.

Juli Sylvan

-------------------

Juli Sylvan has emailed me a pdf of her letter if you would like a copy send me an email: lindalearn1@yahoo.com

Juli is willing to talk to the media or groups of parents and teachers.  She has documents to back up what she is saying and her experience in Oklahoma City Public Schools.  Contact me by the email above to schedule time with Juli. -Linda Murphy Oklahoma Educator

Why is the NH Department of Education Deliberately Misleading the NH Legislature and the Public?

 

The NH Department of Education has repeatedly testified to the House Education Committee that NH's statewide assessments, Smarter Balanced Assessments, do not contain dispositional questions

Concern has repeatedly been brought up by the public, only to be repeatedly shot down by the Department.  A letter from Smarter Balanced consortia was even introduced to convince legislators that there are absolutely no dispositional questions on our statewide assessments.  All the while the letter and the Smarter Balanced website continues to indicate that dispositional questions are being asked of students.

Why is the Department deliberately misleading the public? 

 

Consider this page on the NH Department of Education's website:

http://www.education.nh.gov/assessment-systems/documents/executive-summary.pdf

Executive Summary: ENRICHING NEW HAMPSHIRE'S ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS THROUGH QUALITY PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

The next generation of New Hampshire’s assessment system is based upon the following foundational principles:

1.New Hampshire’s educational system should provide students with real opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for all students to graduate from High School college and career ready, pursue meaningful post-secondary options and to become productive citizens of New Hampshire and the world.

2. New Hampshire’s student assessment system should promote and measure the knowledge, skills, and dispositions in ways that provide feedback for improvement of student and system learning.

 

Read this concept paper found on the NH Department of Education website:

http://www.education.nh.gov/accountability-system/documents/concept-paper.pdf

 

On page 4:

A New Theory of Action and Change

New Hampshire believes that all students must be college and career ready by the time they complete high school. This means not only meeting the content knowledge expectations of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Math, but also demonstrating necessary college-and-career ready knowledge, skills and dispositions. Our system must show that students are advancing not just by demonstrating growth in learning, but by demonstrating competency.

Dispositions– refers to socio-emotional skills or behaviors (sometimes referred to as habits of mind) that associate with success in both college and career. These include non-cognitive, social-emotional, and other dispositions, such as self-regulation, persistence and tenacity, adaptability, the ability to plan and manage one's work and time, etc.

 

 

Look how the Department tries to cover up the truth, by changing references about "dispositions" to "work-study practices."

Aren't education officials supposed to be positive role models for students ?

Keep in mind that the Smarter Balanced Assessments were created for all states across the country, not just New Hampshire.  The NH Department of Education could not remove dispositional questions from NH's statewide assessements, Smarter Balanced.  They can attempt to cover up the truth.

 

Here's another page on the NH Department of Education's website:

From the "DRAFT New Hampshire’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver Renewal"

The Department of Education simply removes the term "disposition" from the Waiver and replaces it with the term "work-study practices" to perpetuate its deceipt on the people of New Hampshire.

 

A NEW THEORY OF ACTION

New Hampshire believes all students must be college-and career-ready by the time they complete high school. This means not only meeting the content knowledge expectations of the NH CCRS in English language arts/literacty and mathematics, but also demonstrating necessary college-and career-ready skills and work-study practices.  New Hampshire's system must show that sutdents are advancing not just by demonstrating growth, but by demonstrating competency in the understanding and application of content knowledge.

Work-Study Practices: Refers to socio-emotional skills or behaviors that associate with success in both college and career (e.g. non-cognitive, social-emotional, self-regulation, persistence, and tenacity, adaptability, ability to plan and manage work and time).

 

 

Why would any parent want their child's values, attitudes and beliefs, i.e. dispositions, measured on statewide assessments and that information tracked and stored indefinitely on federal databases? 

Children are not "human capital." Their purpose is far greater than achieving a place in the workforce. 

The purpose of public education is to help children reach the full development of their potential as individuals.  The purpose of education is not workforce training through competency-based education, using dispositional questions, to calibrate that which can not be fully measured: a child's unique perspective, creativity and character.

Why NO Public Hearing on a WAIVER that Mandates COMMON CORE, COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION, NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS, and WORKFORCE TRAINING in our Schools?

The more a government seeks refuge in secrecy,

the less credibility it has with the people it serves.

The NH Department of Education has refused to be open and transparent about its No Child Left Behind WAIVER Renewal.

NH Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio pulled its public discussion of the "Waiver," "Next Generation Science Standards," and "Legislative Engagement" into non-public session during its March 4th meeting --- lest the public might understand what's actually going on!

The NH Department of Education opposed two bills asking for more transparency:

  • House Bill 302, requiring a public hearing prior to the submission of a grant application by the department of education; (HB 302 was killed).
  • House Bill 611, requiring legislative approval of all agreements, contracts, grants, or waiver involving the department of education or the state board of education. (HB 611 was retained in committee).

The public was asked to trust the Department and rely upon existing "checks and balances" that only monitors grant application funding. Who's monitoring the promises being made to the federal government, downshifting costs onto our districts in violation of the law? No one!


On March 16th a Draft of the Waiver  was finally revealed.  The preliminary deadline for the Waiver is March 31st, so there's still plenty of time for a public hearing.  Where's the public hearing?

The Department of Education put up a Survey Monkey to obtain public input until 12:00 noon on Friday, March 20th.  That's not sufficient!  If it were, the NH Legislature could simply eliminate two dozen committees and read Survey Monkey reports. 

That's ridiculous!  The public needs a public hearing on the Waiver.

This Waiver assumes many radical changes of our public education system:  Competency-Based Education, Common Core Standards,  Next Generation Science Standards, Workforce Training, Extended Cabinet & Regional Governance Structure, etc.  None of these reforms have been approved in state law.


The NH Commissioner of Education established pilot programs in four school districts: Rochester, Epping, Oyster River and Souhegan High School --- under a new federally-approved Performance Assessment Competency Education (PACE) program -- without the knowledge or approval of the NH Legislature. 

Now the Commissioner wants to mandate these same, yet-to-be-fully-tested programs on every one of our school districts.

The Waiver expects districts to adopt the PACE program. It mandates the full adoption of the Common Core State Standards by every district in the state.

  • The House just passes House Bill  276, requiring a public hearing prior to the submission of a grant application by the department of education; (HB 302 was killed).
  • House Bill 611, requiring legislative approval of all agreements, contracts, grants, or waiver involving the department of education or the state board of education. (HB 611 was retained in committee).

The public was asked to trust the Department and rely upon existing "checks and balances" that only monitors grant application funding. Who's monitoring the promises being made to the federal government, downshifting costs onto our districts in violation of the law? No one!


On March 16th a Draft of the Waiver  was finally revealed.  The preliminary deadline for the Waiver is March 31st, so there's still plenty of time for a public hearing.  Where's the public hearing?

The Department of Education put up a Survey Monkey to obtain public input until 12:00 noon on Friday, March 20th.  That's not sufficient!  If it were, the NH Legislature could simply eliminate two dozen committees and read Survey Monkey reports. 

That's ridiculous!  The public needs a public hearing on the Waiver.

This Waiver assumes many radical changes of our public education system:  Competency-Based Education, Common Core Standards,  Next Generation Science Standards, Workforce Training, Extended Cabinet & Regional Governance Structure, etc.  None of these reforms have been approved in state law.


The NH Commissioner of Education established pilot programs in four school districts: Rochester, Epping, Oyster River and Souhegan High School --- under a new federally-approved Performance Assessment Competency Education (PACE) program -- without the knowledge or approval of the NH Legislature. 

Now the Commissioner wants to mandate these same, yet-to-be-fully-tested programs on every one of our school districts.

The Waiver expects districts to adopt the PACE program. It mandates the full adoption of the Common Core State Standards by every district in the state.

  • The House just passes House Bill  276,

    providing that school districts shall not be required to adopt the Common Core standards.

  • The Senate just passed Senate Bill 101,

    prohibiting the state from requiring the implementation of Common Core standards.

If the Legislature wants to protect districts from Common Core, it can't authorize a Waiver mandating Common Core. 

  • Waiver enabling legislation just passed the House on a voice vote, passing a Floor amendment that had NO PUBLIC HEARING --->  House Bill 323,

    relative to the administration of the statewide assessment program.

  • House Bill 323 must be opposed. 

The Waiver also assumes the adoption of the very controversial Next Generation Science Standards without the approval of the Legislature....or even a public hearing. 

All state standards need the approval of the Legislature, not just the assurances of the Commissioner of Education to the U.S. Department of Education.  These Waiver mandates are not legal in New Hampshire under RSA 193-E:2-a IV: "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"

These PACE assessments do NOT remedy the problem of over-testing. Eliminating four out of seven end-of-the-year Smarter Balanced Assessments and replacing them with 30 weekly PACE assessments in each and every grade, is a not a decrease in testing.

More over, these weekly PACE assessments will undermine the right of parents to refuse objectionable assessments.  These PACE assessments will be interwoven into the daily classroom routine.  Is that the goal to circumvent the nationwide pushback from parents instead of listenting to parents?

 

  • House BIll 603 just passed the House to protect the right of parents to REFUSE objectionable statewide assessments.

 

 

PACE and Smarter Balanced are not achievement tests, measuring academic knowledge and skills.  They are assessments, which subjectively measure student dispositions (values, attitudes and beliefs). 

Without the approval of the legislature, the Waiver will mandate Graduation Competencies that are being established by the Department to insure the proper "politically correct" Workforce Training (values, attitudes and beliefs) of students. How can subjective "competencies" measure anything but politically biased dispositions, denigrating any alternative viewpoints?

 

Why is the NH Department of Education proposing to make the most significant changes to our public schools in decades without full transparency and without even a public hearing for The People?

The proposed No Child Left Behind WAIVER Proposal UNDERMINES Local Control

The NH Department of Education just unveiled its new Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) program.

From the NH Department of Education's website:

PACE is a first-in-the-nation accountability strategy that offers a reduced level of standardized testing together with locally managed assessments. These assessments are more integrated into students’ day-to-day work than current standardized tests. Meaningful assessment is a key part of a strategy to ensure students are getting the most out of their education.

There is no reduction in testing as these "locally managed assessments" are given to students on a weekly basis.  They are not locally designed. They are State-approved assessments, administered locally.

Parents cannot REFUSE these assessments -- as they can the Smarter Balanced assessments -- because the PACE assessments are interwoven into daily classroom activities.   Both Smarter Balanced and PACE measure student dispositions, i.e. values, attitudes and beliefs, which is objectionable to many parents. 

This K-12 system will build on New Hampshire’s competency work, including the development of statewide college and career ready competencies, and will be one component of the New Hampshire student assessment system.

"College and career ready" competencies are aligned to the Common Core and measure non-academic or subjective "skills" such as dispositions, i.e. values, attitudes and beliefs.

The PACE accountability option provides districts with an alternative route of demonstrating measurable progress in student outcomes in the New Hampshire competencies, the Work-Study Practices, and other important measures. It enables districts to emphasize meaningful content, high quality instruction, and deep student engagement.

"Work-study practices" are a predetermined set of dispositional qualities, i.e. values, attitudes and beliefs, necessary to be successful in the workforce.  Who defines these subjective critieria that are to be imposed upon students?

The purpose of education should not be the acquisition of a narrow, predetermined set of skills and attitudes, but rather the realization of one's full potential.

The PACE option will have multiple components, but performance assessment will be a central feature. In this first year, PACE districts will report on ELA, mathematics, science, and the Work-Study Practices. As New Hampshire develops further competencies, social studies, the arts, and other content areas will become a part of the PACE system.

PACE will include common performance tasks that have high technical quality, locally designed performance tasks with guidelines for ensuring high technical quality, regional scoring sessions and local district peer review audits to ensure sound accountability systems and high inter-rater reliability, a web-based bank of local and common performance tasks, and a regional support network for districts and schools.

This is a Regional education program, unauthorized by the NH Legislature.  State law  recognizes local control through our District System, not Regional areas of the State.

As an early step in this process, the PACE option is being piloted by a group of self-selected school districts. School districts piloting PACE this year are Epping, Rochester, Sanborn Regional and Souhegan. Districts participating in a planning process this year to implement next year are Pittsfield and Seacoast Charter

Hardly "self-selected" when districts need the approval of the NH Department of Education in order to participate.  Look at enabling legislation, House Bill 323,

"This process will allow approved districts to implement the statewide assessment only in selected grades as determined by the department and as identified in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) pilot.

This year, the four PACE implementing districts will give the Smarter Balanced assessment once in elementary school, once in middle school and once in high school - in three grades instead of seven. In all other years, the PACE districts will administer carefully designed common and local “performance assessments” developed by the districts themselves, and validated at the state level.

The PACE program and assessments are controlled by the State.  This is not a local program by any stretch of the imagination.

Beginning in 2012, all New Hampshire school districts were invited to participate in the pilot. The pilot required extensive training and local commitment to managing their testing locally. Although the work was partly funded with generous grants from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the PACE pilot project requires a large scale commitment by administrators and teachers of participating districts. However, USED and NHDOE anticipate that school districts throughout the State and the nation will benefit from the experience gained in PACE.

This program was developed through major grants from Nellie Mae and the Hewlett Foundation. They were not locally designed or determined.  Only districts willing to fully adopt Common Core and State-validated assessments may participate.  That's not local control.

The NH Commissioner of Education is proposing a four year No Child Left Behind WAIVER application centered around this new PACE program. 

If approved, how will PACE affect our local schools?  Schools will be forced to adopt Common Core standards. 

  • On February 12, 2015 the NH Senate passed Senate Bill 101, prohibiting the state from requiring implementation of Common Core standards. 

The next public hearing on Senate Bill 101 is on March 24th at 11:15 AM in the Room 207 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Please come and speak up against Common Core, or email your state Representatives.

A public hearing on HB 323, WAIVER enabling legislation, will be scheduled soon.

  • On March 11, 2015 the NH House passed House Bill 276, providing that school districts shall not be required to adopt the Common Core standards.

On March 16, 2015 the NH Department of Education, lifting the shroud of secrecy surrounding its No Child Left Behind WAIVER application, recommended the PACE program which requires every school district to implement Common Core standards. 

The Next Generation Science Standards --which are basically Common Core standards with a deceptive title -- have been adopted by the Commissioner of Education  (See page 46 of the WAIVER proposal) without approval by the NH Legislature as required by law, RSA 193-E:2-a

The Department of Education used the Next Generation Science Standards to base its "NH Graduation Competencies" upon. See page 46 of the WAIVER proposal.

This renewal WAIVER is just a continuation of the non-transparent process used by the Department over the last two years, which lacks genuine consensus building by marginalizing parents.

From the NH Department of Education's website:

NH Performance Assessment Network

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) has partnered with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) to develop

The Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) in Dover and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessments (NCIEA) in Boston are non-profit organizations.

capacity in school districts for the use of performance assessment to build and measure student mastery of college and career ready competencies. The NHDOE policy requiring all high school courses to be aligned to

"College and career ready" competencies are Common Core aligned workforce skills.

local competencies is one step the state has already taken to foster new practices of assessment that promote and assess “deeper levels of understanding important academic content and skills.”

As a part of this work, the NHDOE is developing a state-wide performance assessment system that will balance local control with state-wide accountability and comparability.

There's no balance of local control as these new assessments require State and federal approval.

This system, the Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) option, will build on New Hampshire’s competency work, including the development of statewide college and career ready competencies, and will be one component of the New Hampshire student assessment system.

PACE will include:

common performance tasks that have high technical quality,

locally designed performance tasks with guidelines for ensuring high technical quality,

regional scoring sessions and local district peer review audits to ensure sound accountability systems and high inter-rater reliability,

"Regional scoring" is not local control.

a web-based bank of local and common performance tasks, and

a regional support network for districts and schools.

"A regional support network" is not local control.

The four PACE implementing districts are Sanborn Regional, Rochester, Epping and Souhegan.

Executive Summary: Enriching New Hampshire's Assessment and Accountability Systems through Quality Performance Assessment. Acrobat Reader

The foundational principles of this initiative are:

New Hampshire’s educational system should provide students with real opportunities to learn the knowledge, skills, and work-study practices necessary for all students to graduate from high school college-and-career ready, pursue meaningful post-secondary options and to become productive citizens of New Hampshire and the world.

"Work-study practices" is a code word for "dispositions." These assessments will measure student dispositions, i.e. values, attitudes and beliefs.... just like the Smarter Balanced assessments.

New Hampshire’s student assessment system should promote and measure knowledge, skills, and dispositions in ways that provide feedback for improvement of student and system learning.

Performance assessments are a vehicle for encouraging the teaching and learning of meaningful content and skills

New Hampshire’s system of educator support should build the capacity of educators to engage students in the learning of meaningful knowledge and skills

Accountability systems, including educator evaluation systems, should be built upon a foundation of a student assessment system that measures critically important student outcomes.

NH Performance Assessment Network Institute Trainings

The NH Performance Assessment Network is an exciting new multi-year initiative that engages New Hampshire’s school districts in building and implementing valid and reliable performance assessments aligned to NH state and local competencies. Performance assessments are multi-step assignment tasks with clear criteria, expectations, and processes which measure how well a student transfers knowledge and applies complex skills to create or refine an original product.

"Aligned to NH state and local competencies" means aligned to Common Core.


ACTION NEEDED:  OPPOSE the enabling legisation -- House Bill 323:

This bill:
* Establishes controversial Competency Based Education in every district
* Eliminates “OPT OUTS” for parents if these PACE assessments are problematic
* Does not reduce testing, just makes it more insidious and interwoven in the classroom
* Does not protect local control, it regionalizes and centralizes control over districts

* Favors state and federal reform mandates, all based on Common Core
* Workforce training TRACKS students, diminishing prospects of late blooming students.
* Workforce training reduces students to “human capital”

Please CONTACT your state Senator about the over-reach of this WAIVER proposal through House Bill 323.  Tell them to REIGN IN the Commissioner's WAIVER in House Bill 323.

If House Bill 323 passes:
Districts will be unable to REFUSE Common Core
Parents will be unable to REFUSE PACE assessments
WARN the NH Senators to vote NO on House Bill 323



Jeff Woodburn (d) Dalton
(603)271-3207
Jeff.Woodburn@leg.state.nh.us

Jeanie Forrester (r) Meredith
(603)271-4980
jeanie.forrester@leg.state.nh.us

Jeb Bradley (r) Wolfeboro
(603)271-2106
jeb.bradley@leg.state.nh.us

David Watters (d) Dover
(603)271-8631
david.watters@leg.state.nh.us

David Pierce (d) Etna
(603)271-3067
david.pierce@leg.state.nh.us

Sam Cataldo (r) Farmington
(603)271-4063
sam.cataldo@leg.state.nh.us

Andrew Hosmer (d) Laconia
(603)271-8631
andrew.hosmer@leg.state.nh.us

Gerald Little (r) Weare
(603)271-4151
Jerry.Little@leg.state.nh.us

Andy Sanborn (r) Bedford
(603)271-2609
andy.sanborn@leg.state.nh.us

Molly Kelly (d) Keene
(603)271-3207
molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us

Gary Daniels (r) Milford
(603)271-2609
Gary.Daniels@leg.state.nh.us

Kevin Avard (r) Nashua
(603)271-4151
Kevin.Avard@.leg.state.nh.us

Bette Lasky (d) Nashua
(603)271-3091
bette.lasky@leg.state.nh.us

Sharon Carson (r) Londonderry
(603)271-1403
sharon.carson@leg.state.nh.us

Dan Feltes (d) Concord
(603)271-3067
Dan.Feltes@leg.state.nh.us

David Boutin (r) Hooksett / Manchester
(603)271-3092
dboutin1465@comcast.net

John Reagan (r) Deerfield
(603)271-4063
john.reagan111@gmail.com

Donna Soucy (d) Manchester
(603)271-3207
donna.soucy@leg.state.nh.us

Regina Birdsell (r) Hampstead / Windham
(603)271-4151
Regina.Birdsell@.leg.state.nh.us

Lou D’Allesandro (d) Manchester
(603)271-2117
dalas@leg.state.nh.us

Martha Fuller Clark (d) Portsmouth
(603)271-3076
martha.fullerclark@leg.state.nh.us

Chuck Morse (r) Salem
(603)271-8472
chuck.morse@leg.state.nh.us

Russell Prescott (r) Kingston
(603)271-3074
represcott@represcott.com

Nancy Stiles (r) Hampton
(603)271-3093
nancy.stiles@leg.state.nh.us

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Local Control Vs. the Over-reach of Yet Another Federal Waiver

The NH Department of Education is in the process of renewing NH's federal No Child Left Behind / ESEA Flexibility Waiver, which expires in June of 2015.  The first Waiver lasted two years.  The renewal Waiver will last four years and is scheduled to be submitted on March 31st.

The process has been extremely secretive, including a meeting by the state Board of Education on March 4th where discussion of the "Waiver" was pulled from the meeting Agenda and discussed in non-public session.  Why the shroud of secrecy?  Where's the open and transparent government that we expect from government officials?

In this Waiver the NH Commissioner of Education makes assurances to the U.S. Department of Education that:

(1) (a) New Hampshire has adopted college and career ready standards, formerly called Common Core.  In 2014 those Common Core standards were incorporated into NH's Minimum Standards for Public School Approval, or Ed 306.  

     (b) NH public schools will administer a statewide Common Core aligned assessment, the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

(2) New Hampshire will continue to recognize (and remediate) the low performance of Priority schools and gaps in performance of Focus schools, as well as recognizing Reward schools and provide incentives and supports for other Title 1 schools.

(3) New Hampshire schools will measure "effective" instruction in our schools through annual teacher and school evaluations based in part upon student performance in statewide assessments.

(4) New Hampshire will develop a new assessment program under the Commissioner of Education, based upon House Bill 323, which grants the Commissioner authority to

"develop criteria for an application and approval process that will allow school districts to meet certain readiness criteria to participate in a local model of assessment and accountability. This process will allow approved districts to implement the statewide assessment only in selected grades as determined by the department and as identified in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) pilot."

and establishes a "curriculum-based college readiness examination of academic achievement, such as the College Board SAT as the high school assessment, where approved for federal accountability purposes."

There is NO EVIDENCE that this Common Core aligned PACE program is any better than the last non-validated Common Core aligned Smarter Balanced assessment program?  Why waste more district money EXPERIMENTING on our children?

*****************************************

Competency Based Education isn’t about academic achievement, it’s about workforce training.  It isn’t about improving academics, it’s about State tracking of our children to figure out where they fit into the global workforce.  Elite private schools won’t touch workforce training; they are educating the leaders of tomorrow, not "human capital."

*****************************************

Competency Based Education is an old method that has been re-labelled and re-marketed. Competency Based Education allows students to repeat tests until they pass.  There is no urgency to complete tasks on time as students can always make them up.  This weakens the idea of striving for success by eliminating the concept of failure.

Students, who consistently work hard, will be indistinguishable from lazy students under this model. Where is the positive reinforcement for hard-working students? Will all students relax their efforts because there is no longer any recognition or reward for hard work?

 

There is considerable mention in the renewal Waiver of obtaining feedback from "stakeholders" in the development of this process, but there was precious little effort to obtain input from our duly elected district school board members, public teachers or everyday parents. 

Many concerns and questions come to mind:

  • What unfunded mandates will be imposed upon our local school districts under this WAIVER? 
  • Will our teachers have to continue to teach-to-a-test instead of educating our children? 
  • Why did only 4 school districts sign up for the PACE trial while many other districts chose not to?
  • Why is Department of Education looking at using the SAT when they've already thrown millions of taxpayer dollars into developing the Smarter Balanced test?
  • Why choose the SATs which were aligned to Common Core by David Coleman, who also developed Common Core? 
  • Why not allow the ACTs which are another credible college entrance exam?
  • How can this Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) create "a local model" of assessment and accountability, if it requires state and federal approval throughout the process? 
  • Why not allow assessments "supported by the local districts", as proposed in the original version of House Bill 323?  Or support an amendment to restore the "local improvement and assessment plan" from RSA 193-C which was removed in 2013 to get approval for the first WAIVER?  If we're supporting LOCAL CONTROL, let's have AUTHENTIC local control, not Common Core aligned PACE.
  • Neither House Bill 323 (with Ladd's floor amendment) nor the Waiver restores local control as promised.  Parents are tired of false promises.

Amend HB 323 to Restore an Authentic "Local Assessment Program" or Kill the Bill !

Upcoming meetings on the Waiver:

 

Current Members of the Legislative Oversight Committee that will be voting on the Waiver on March 23rd at 3:00 pm:

Committee Members  
 

Karen Umberger (R) - House

John Reagan  (R) - Senate
Rick Ladd (R) - House  (Chair) Gerald Little (R) - Senate
Susan Ford  (D) - House Nancy Stiles (R) - Senate

 

Please contact your state Senator about the over-reach of this Waiver.  Tell them to REIGN IN House Bill 323, which authorizes this Waiver in state law. 

Go to this webpage for more information:

HB 323 -- Radically Grants Control to the NH Commissioner of Education

Jeff Woodburn (d)      Dalton
(603)271-3207
Jeff.Woodburn@leg.state.nh.us

Jeanie Forrester (r)     Meredith
(603)271-4980
jeanie.forrester@leg.state.nh.us

Jeb Bradley (r)           Wolfeboro
(603)271-2106
jeb.bradley@leg.state.nh.us

David Watters (d)       Dover
(603)271-8631
david.watters@leg.state.nh.us

David Pierce (d)          Etna
(603)271-3067
david.pierce@leg.state.nh.us

Sam Cataldo (r)          Farmington
(603)271-4063
sam.cataldo@leg.state.nh.us

Andrew Hosmer (d)     Laconia
(603)271-8631
andrew.hosmer@leg.state.nh.us

Gerald Little (r)         Weare
(603)271-4151
Jerry.Little@leg.state.nh.us

Andy Sanborn (r)       Bedford
(603)271-2609
andy.sanborn@leg.state.nh.us

Molly Kelly (d)            Keene
(603)271-3207
molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us

Gary Daniels (r)         Milford
(603)271-2609
Gary.Daniels@leg.state.nh.us

Kevin Avard (r)         Nashua
(603)271-4151
Kevin.Avard@.leg.state.nh.us

Bette Lasky (d)         Nashua
(603)271-3091
bette.lasky@leg.state.nh.us

Sharon Carson (r)    Londonderry
(603)271-1403
sharon.carson@leg.state.nh.us

Dan Feltes (d)           Concord
(603)271-3067
Dan.Feltes@leg.state.nh.us

David Boutin (r)      Hooksett / Manchester
(603)271-3092
dboutin1465@comcast.net

John Reagan (r)       Deerfield
(603)271-4063
john.reagan111@gmail.com

Donna Soucy (d)      Manchester
(603)271-3207
donna.soucy@leg.state.nh.us

Regina Birdsell (r)     Hampstead / Windham
(603)271-4151
Regina.Birdsell@.leg.state.nh.us

Lou D'Allesandro (d)   Manchester
(603)271-2117
dalas@leg.state.nh.us

Martha Fuller Clark (d)   Portsmouth
(603)271-3076
martha.fullerclark@leg.state.nh.us

Chuck Morse (r)            Salem
(603)271-8472
chuck.morse@leg.state.nh.us

Russell Prescott (r)       Kingston
(603)271-3074
represcott@represcott.com

Nancy Stiles (r)             Hampton
(603)271-3093
nancy.stiles@leg.state.nh.us

Is the ADAPTIVE Smarter Balanced Assessments Legal under State Law, RSA 193-C?

State law requires that each grade level assessment shall be the same for each student:

RSA 193-C:3 III (c) At each grade level assessed, the standards and expectations shall be the same for every New Hampshire student. 

 

However, the Smarter Balanced Assessment is individually tailored to each student using a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT):

Based on student responses, the computer program adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment. For example, a student who answers a question correctly will receive a more challenging item, while an incorrect answer generates an easier question.

By adapting to the student as the assessment is taking place, these assessments present an individually tailored set of questions to each student and can quickly identify which skills students have mastered. This approach represents a significant improvement over traditional paper-and-pencil assessments used in many states today, providing more accurate scores for all students across the full range of the achievement continuum.

History and Evolution of NH's Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program: RSA 193-C

In 1993 the NH legislature adopted a Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program with the passage of  Senate Bill 224.   How does that initial program compare to what NH has in place today?  How does this compare with House Education Committee Chairman Rick Ladd's Floor Amendment (0806h) to House Bill 323, which just passed the House on March 12th?

From the beginning the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program required the Commissioner of Education to consult with parents in the development of this programs as "parents" are mentioned over and over again in state statute.  Not only must the Commissioner develop and implement the program in consultation with parents but also "in conjunction with the state board of educaiton and the legislative oversight committee."

This would require some degree of transparency However, transparency is the biggest problem at the moment.  No longer is the Commissioner developing the program with parents and the legislative oversight committee, she's working behind closed doors with the US Department of Education through it's No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waiver grant application process. In fact, at the recent NH Board of Education meeting on March 4th, the agenda item to discuss the "Waiver" was pushed into Non-Public Session to maintain the shroud of secrecy around this very critical federal grant application which will bind New Hampshire public schools for four long years.

The deadline is March 25th for the submission of this NCLB or ESEA Flexibility Waiver, yet no one has been consulted in the process, neither parents nor the House Education Committee nor the Legislative Oversight Committee.

The first meeting to unveil the Commissioner's new Waiver will be on March 16th with the Legislative Oversight Committee; then on March 17th with the House Education Committee; and finally with the Board of Education on March 25th, which also coincides with the grant submission deadline!

The initial purpose of this program was to provide a "well-educated populace" which is "essential for the maintenance of democracy, the continued growth of our economy, and the encouragement of personal enrichment and development."  This purpose of this program in recent years has devolved into very narrow-focused workforce training program.

The areas of assessment were originally focused on "knowledge and skills" not student dispositions, values, attitudes or beliefs which are now called "soft skills" and packaged under workforce skills.

The academic areas to be assessed originally included: "reading and language arts, mathematics and science, and history and georgraphy."  Due to a behind the scenes maneuver during a Committee of Conference on SB 343 in 2014, a bill that the public was told would establish a commission to study Common Core Standards was surreptitiously changed to a vehicle to implant Competency Based Education into our statewide assessements without any public review or comment. Instead of focusing on individual academic subjects, the program would now focus multi-subject domains and the soft skills of the workforce training program:

"The statewide assessment program shall only measure student understanding of key content-specific concepts, skills, and knowledge applied within or across academic content domains."

The program requires that grade level assessments "shall be the same for every New Hampshire student."  Yet suddently Smarter Balanced adaptive assessments were mandated by the Commissioner of Education.  Under these adaptive assessments, there are now unique assessments for each New Hampshire student in violation of state law.

The law requires that teachers "shall be involved in designing and using the assessment system."  This is no longer possible in the a top-down federally mandated Smarter Balanced assessment system, again in violation of state law.

In 2013 the Local Education Improvement and Assessment Plan of RSA 193-C:9 was repealed, leaving the summative statewide assessment, Smarter Balanced Assessments, as the only measurement tool.

However, the worst change to this law was just proposed yesterday, March 12th, 2015.

House Education Committee Chairman Rick Ladd just introduced a dangerous amendment to House Bill 323, which was precipitously passed by the House.  There was no time for a careful review by House members, nor any opportunity for the public to comment on this proposal.  It was a last minute  floor amendment on a very busy sesssion day when everyone was already overloaded.

As written the amendment enables the federal government maintain its inappropriate control over New Hampshire's public schools.  It also grants the NH Commissioner of Education a completely unprecedented amount of authority over our statewide assessments.

Under this proposal the Commissioner will develop a new statewide assessment program without oversight.  The Commissioner may select the grades, which will be required to participate in her new assessment program.  In fact, the Commissioner may selectively approve: which districts will be allowed to administer these new asessements in lieu of the very flawed Smarter Balanced assessments. Are you concerned yet?

Previously the General Court retained control over this process through its Legislative Oversight Committee.  Coincidentally, Chairman Ladd is also Chair of this Legislative Oversight Committee. 

Why is Ladd proposing to relinquish control to the Commissioner?  Certainly, not due to "good" behavior as the Commissioner has consistently been undermining transparency, issuing technical advisories which undermine parental rights to refuse these assessments and encouraging districts to bully and intimidate parents into compliance across the state.

This amendment to HB 323 also forces a progressive Competency Based Education program onto our schools, which most legislators do not even fully comprehend via the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) program.

Do legislators understand that -- while district may not be required to adopt Common Core with the passage of SB 101 or HB 276 --  Common Core aligned COMPETENCIES will still be mandated to the district? 

How so?  ED 306, Minimum Standards for Public School Approval requires "GRADUATION COMPETENCIES." 

If a parents refuses to allow their child to take the Common Core aligned Smarter Balanced assessments, with the passage of HB 603, will the child be allowed to graduate?  Or will the child be required to go to summer school?

Even the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) program is aligned to the Common Core and Competency-Based.

 

 

Below is a copy of the original 1993 "statewide educational improvement and assessment program" in blue text.

Amendments that were adopted by the legislature over the years are marked in red text with the year in which they were adopted included. 

Chairman Ladd's floor amendment (0806h) to HB 323 is included. It's marked with red text with blue highlights.

[EDITORIAL COMMENTS] are also marked and included.

 

 

1813s 3/4/93

22apr93.....2414h

18may93.....2754h

SENATE BILL - FINAL VERSION

1993 SESSION 1005B

93-0952

04

SENATE BILL NO.    224-FN   

INTRODUCED BY: Sen. Lovejoy of Dist 6; Sen. Roberge of Dist 9

REFERRED TO: Education

AN ACT relative to the statewide education improvement and assessment program.


                                                                             

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes the New Hampshire statewide education improvement and assessment program and sets forth criteria for the development and implementation of the program.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

EXPLANATION: Matter added appears in bold italics.

Matter removed appears in [brackets].

Matter which is repealed and reenacted or all new appears in regular type.

 

1005B

93-0952

04

CHAPTER 290

 SENATE BILL - FINAL VERSION

SB 224-FN

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the year of Our Lord one thousand

nine hundred and ninety-three

AN ACT

relative to the statewide education improvement

and assessment program.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Represen-

tatives in General Court convened:

 

290:1 New Subparagraph; Rulemaking Authority. Amend RSA 21-N:9, II by inserting after subparagraph (v) the following new subparagraph:

(w) The exemption of certain students from participation in the statewide education assessment.

290:2 New Chapter; Education Improvement and Assessment Program. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 193-B the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 193-C

STATEWIDE EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

193-C:1 Statement of Purpose.

I. Improvement and accountability in education are of primary concern to all of the citizens of New Hampshire. A well-educated populace is essential for the maintenance of democracy, the continued growth of our economy, and the encouragement of personal enrichment and development. [EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS PROGRAM WAS NOT ESTABLISHED TO PROVIDE WORKFORCE TRAINING. 2013 SB 48]

II. A statewide education improvement and assessment program built upon the establishment of educational standards specifying what students should know and be able to do is an important element in educational improvement. Such a program also serves as an effective measure of accountability when the assessment exercises or tasks are valid and appropriate representations of the curriculum standards that students are expected to achieve.

III. Widespread participation in the establishment of a statewide education improvement and assessment program is essential. Consultation with educators at all levels, business people, government officials, community representatives, and parents must occur in the development of educational standards. In turn, widespread dissemination of those standards, once established, must occur. Teachers, administrators, and school board members must be fully apprised of these state-developed standards. They must, in turn, communicate these expectations to students and parents, and find and implement methods to enable students to acquire and apply the requisite knowledge and skills. [NOT DISPOSITIONS!]

IV. In addition, the assessment results must be reported to students, parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, and to all other citizens of New Hampshire in order that informed decisions can be made concerning curriculum, in-service education, instructional improvement, teacher training, resource allocation, and staffing.

V. A critical part of this program is the local education improvement and assessment plan. In order for an assessment program to give an accurate picture of student performance, it must include more than a one-time measure. Local school districts should devise and implement measures which focus on the continuing growth of individual students, and report the results to parents along with those obtained from the state-developed tool. [This section V. and RSA 193-C:9 - REPEALED IN 2013, ELIMINATING THE LOCAL EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND ASSESSMENT PLAN.]

VI. The purpose of the statewide education improvement and assessment program is not to establish a statewide curriculum. It is, rather, to establish what New Hampshire students should know and be able to do and to develop and implement effective methods for assessing that learning and its application so that local decisions about curriculum development and delivery can be made.

193-C:2 Definitions. In this chapter:

I. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of education.

II. "Committee" means the legislative oversight committee established to review the statewide education improvement and assessment program.

III. "Department" means the department of education.

IV. "Program" means the New Hampshire statewide education improvement and assessment program.

193-C:3 Program Established; Goals. There is established within the department of education a statewide education improvement and assessment program. The commissioner shall develop and implement this program in conjunction with the state board of education and the legislative oversight committee. In carrying out this program, the commissioner shall consult widely with educators at all levels, business people, government officials, community representatives, and parents.

I. The aims of this program shall be to:

(a) Define what students should know and be able to do.

(b) Develop and implement methods for assessing that learning and its application.

(c) Report assessment results to all citizens of New Hampshire.

(d) Help to provide accountability at all levels.

(e) Use the results, at both the state and local levels, to improve instruction and advance student learning.

II. Since the program is not a minimum competency testing program, assessment instruments should be designed to reflect the range of learning exhibited by students. The assessment portion of the program shall consist of a variety of assessment tasks which can be objectively scored. The assessment instruments shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) Constructed response items which require students to produce answers to questions rather than to select from an array of possible answers.

(b) A writing sample.

(c) Other open-ended performance tasks.

III. The following criteria shall be used in the development of the program:

(a) Educational standards specifying what students should know and be able to do shall be clearly defined before assessment procedures and exercises are developed.

(b) The assessment exercises or tasks shall be valid and appropriate representations of the standards the students are expected to achieve.

(c) At each grade level assessed, the standards and expectations shall be the same for every New Hampshire student. [NOT AN ADAPTIVE ASSESSMENT WHICH IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERY NH STUDENT AT EACH GRADE LEVEL ASSESSED.]

(d) Teachers shall be involved in designing and using the assessment system.  [THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY LOCAL TEACHERS WERE NOT EVEN REMOTELY INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN PROCESS.]

(e) Assessment frameworks and reports shall be understandable and widely disseminated to parents, teachers, administrators, other school personnel, school board members, teacher preparation programs, business people, government officials, and community members.

(f) The assessment system shall be subject to continuous review and improvement.

IV. The assessment system shall generate data which may be used:

(a) At the student level, by students, parents, and teachers, to determine what the student knows and is able to do in relationship to the state-established standards.

(b) At the classroom and school building levels, to monitor student progress and to enhance learning.

(c) At the district level, to measure school and district-wide progress toward meeting goals and outcomes, to revise curriculum, to design in-service education programs, and to improve instruction.

(d) At the state level, to measure what students know and are able to do in relation to the attainment of goals and outcomes from the assessment frameworks, and to report the results to the citizens of New Hampshire.

(e) At the state level, to target services to schools, improve existing programs, develop new initiatives, and revise standards for school improvement, teacher certification, etc.

(f) At the college level, to integrate into teacher preparation programs instruction in state-established standards, techniques for enhancing student learning in these areas, and the use of assessment results to improve instruction.

(g) At all levels, to correlate, to the extent possible, with national goals and international standards.

(h) At all levels, to provide a basis for accountability.

(i) At the end of grade 3, to determine if pupils are reading at grade level on a standardized reading test to be developed by the department as part of a statewide assessment system. [ADDED IN 2003]

(j) At the school, district, and state levels, to provide performance reports on specific subgroups of pupils as required by federal law. [ADDED IN 2003. Federal law requires performance measurements on specific demographic subgroups, including major ethnic/racial groups, economically disadvantaged students, limited English proficient (LEP) students, and students with disabilitites.]

193-C:4 Rulemaking. The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the exemption of certain students from participation in the program. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the state board of education to adopt rules pursuant to the authority granted by the general court.

193-C:5 Areas of Assessment. The academic areas to be assessed shall include, but not be limited to: reading and language arts, mathematics and science, and history and geography. reading and language arts, mathematics, science, history, geography, civics, and economics. The statewide assessment program shall only measure student understanding of key content-specific concepts, skills, and knowledge applied within or across academic content domains.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: SUBJECTS AMENDED IN 2007; COMPETENCY BASED EDUCATION LANGUAGE ADDED IN 2014, USING SB 343 WHICH WAS INTRODUCED "TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION TO STUDY COMMON CORE STANDARDS." THIS BILL WAS TRANSFORMED AT THE LAST MINUTE IN COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE TO A FINAL VERSION WHICH ADDED COMPETENCY BASED EDUCATION TO STATE LAW WITHOUT A PUBLIC HEARING OR PROPER REVIEW OF THE BILL LANGUAGE.]

193-C:6 Assessment Required. Each year, a statewide assessment  program designed to yield specific data to use in identifying and improving instruction and learning  shall be administered in all school districts in the state in 3 grades: an elementary grade, a middle or junior high grade, and a high school grade. in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school. If approved through a federal education waiver, the New Hampshire department of education shall further develop criteria for an application and approval process that will allow school districts to meet certain readiness criteria to participate in a local model of assessment and accountability. This process will allow approved districts to implement the statewide assessment only in selected grades as determined by the department and as identified in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) pilot. All public school students in the designated grades shall participate in the assessment, unless such student is exempted, or provided that the commissioner of the department of education may, through an agreement with another state when such state and New Hampshire are parties to an interstate agreement, allow pupils to participate in that state's assessment program as an alternative to the assessment required under this chapter. Home educated students may contact their local school districts if they wish to participate in the statewide assessment. Private schools may contact the department of education to participate in the statewide assessment. Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of a well established, curriculum-based college readiness examination of academic achievement, such as the College Board SAT as the high school assessment, where approved for federal accountability purposes.

[UPDATED IN 2007.  CHAIRMAN RICK LADD'S FLOOR AMENDMENT (0806h) to HB 323. ]

193-C:7 Legislative Oversight Committee. An oversight committee shall be established consisting of:

I. The chairperson of the house education committee, or a designee.

II. The chairperson of the senate education committee, or a designee.

III. One member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house.

IV. One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.

V. One member of the house appropriations committee, appointed by the speaker of the house.

VI. One member of the senate finance executive committee, appointed by the senate president.

193-C:8 Duties of the Legislative Oversight Committee. The oversight committee shall review the development and implementation of the program to ensure that they are in accordance with legislative policy. Implementation of the program shall be in conjunction with the committee's review.

The committee shall:
    I. Review the development and implementation of the school performance and accountability program set forth in RSA 193-H to ensure compliance with state and federal law. Implementation of the program shall be in conjunction with the committee's review.
    II. Review the provisions of RSA 193-H and submit a report of such review annually to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the governor, and the chairpersons of the house and senate education committees.
    III. Propose legislation that is needed as a result of the review of the progress and results of the policies implemented under this chapter and under RSA 193-H, including any changes necessitated by federal law.
    IV. Confer with the commissioner and the state board of education to identify operational principles which should guide the work of the department of education in supporting improved school performance and accountability.
    V. Analyze existing department of education programs and initiatives which support improved school performance and accountability.
    VI. Receive reports from the commissioner regarding the status of public education in New Hampshire, updates on the improvement made by local school districts toward achieving satisfactory progress in statewide student performance under RSA 193-H:2 and status reports on the on-going issues and implications of school accountability at the state and federal level. Reports by the commissioner shall occur at least once annually or more frequently as needed, as determined by the committee and the commissioner.
    VII. Review and approve statewide performance targets required under RSA 193-H:2 developed by the department of education and recommended to the legislative oversight committee by the state board of education.
    VIII. Receive reports from the state board of education including rules recommended by the department to be adopted by the state board of education under RSA 541-A relative to statewide performance targets required under RSA 193-H:2. The legislative oversight committee shall propose legislation to be submitted to establish such statewide performance targets in state statute during the legislative session following the approval of any recommendations which the state board of education is required to make.
    IX. Review the unique pupil identification system established in RSA 193-E:5 and propose legislation needed as a result of the review.
    X. Review the implementation and results of the program relative to accountability for the opportunity for an adequate education established in RSA 193-E, consult and receive reports on such program, evaluate and review existing and emergent performance-based measurement tools, and propose legislation for improvements to the accountability program, as necessary.

[UPDATED IN 2004, 2009]

193-C:9 Local Education Improvement and Assessment Plan.

I. Each school district in New Hampshire is encouraged to develop a local education improvement and assessment plan which builds upon and complements the goals established for the program, including:

(a) Local assessment measures which focus on individual student performance.

(b) Participation in the program.

(c) The use of local and statewide assessment results to improve instruction and enhance student learning.

(d) Methods for reporting the results of all assessment measures.

II. This plan may be submitted to the department of education for review. The department shall provide technical assistance at the request of the school districts in developing and implementing these assessment plans.

III. In addition, local school districts are encouraged to submit to the department of education information relating to:

(a) Methods of instruction which have proven to be effective in helping students reach the state-developed standards.

(b) Methods of assessment which have proven to be effective in assessing what students know and are able to do.

IV. In accordance with RSA 21-N:6, VII, the department shall develop a system whereby such information can be collected, compiled, and disseminated to local school districts.

[REPEALED IN 2013 -- WHO CARES ABOUT LOCAL ASSESSMENT PLANS?]

193-C:10 Accessibility of Assessment Materials. – After the assessment results are released by the department, a pupil's parent or legal guardian shall have the right to inspect and review the pupil's assessment, including the questions asked, the pupil's answers, instructions or directions to the pupil, and other supplementary materials related or used to administer the pupil's assessment. A parent or legal guardian shall direct a request for inspection or review to the pupil's school, and the school shall comply with such request within 45 days of its receipt. The department of education shall make available released assessment items on the department's website as soon as possible after the statewide assessment results are released. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to implement procedures for the review and inspection of assessment materials. These rules shall provide parents and legal guardians with no fewer rights accorded to them under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.

Source. 1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. 2014, 219:1, eff. Sept. 12, 2014.

    193-C:11 Anonymity of Pupil Assessment Results; Parental Authorization Required. – Individual pupil names or codes contained in the statewide assessment results, scores, or other evaluative materials shall be deleted for the purposes of records maintenance and storage of such results or scores at the department of education, unless a parent or legal guardian provides written authorization otherwise, or as required under federal law. Individual pupil results shall be made available to a parent, a legal guardian, or the pupil's school in accordance with the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.

Source. 1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

 

290:3 Repeal. 1992, 289:58, relative to the oversight committee, is repealed.

290:4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved: "Enacted in accordance with Article 44, Pt. II, of the N.H.

Constitution, without signature of Governor, June 22, 1993.

Effective: June 22, 1993

LBAO

LSR 93-0952 *

Amended 3/15/93

FISCAL NOTE for an act relative to the statewide education improvement and assessment program and making an appropriation therefor.

FISCAL IMPACT:

This bill, as amended by the Senate, appropriates $120,000 for fiscal year ending June 30, 1993; $225,000 for fiscal year ending June 30, 1994; and $675,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995 from the general fund to the Department of Education for the purpose of funding the education improvement and assessment program under RSA 193-C.

 

A list of bills which established or amended RSA 193-C:

1993 Senate Bill 224

2003 House Bill 139

2009 House Bill 2

2010 House Bill 1689

2014 Senate Bill 343

2013 Senate Bill 48

2015 House Bill 323 Amendment 0806h

 

 

Current Members of the Legislative Oversight Committee:

Committee Members  
 

Karen Umberger (R) - House

John Reagan  (R) - Senate
Rick Ladd (R) - House  (Chair) Gerald Little (R) - Senate
Susan Ford  (D) - House Nancy Stiles (R) - Senate