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OPPOSE HB 1604, relative to instructional methods to enable students to acquire and apply requisite knowledge and skills

OPPOSE HB 1604 as amended (0160h). This bill authorizes Competency Based Education and enables PACE.

The state should not mandate "instructional methods." That usurps local control.

RSA 193-E:2-a "The frameworks do not establish a statewide curriculum. It is the responsibility of local teachers, administrators, and school boards to identify and implement approaches best suited for the students in their communities to acquire the skills and knowledge included in the frameworks, to determine the scope, organization, and sequence of course offerings, and to choose the METHODS of INSTRUCTION, the activities, and the materials to be used."

In 2014, the Board of Education adopted regulations to mandate Competency Based Education without any statutory authority. This amended bill, HB 1604, provides statutory authority for Ed 306.27 which has been forced on our districts for the past two years.

Existing regulation to require Competency Based Education in secondary schools:
----Ed 306.27 High School Curriculum, Credits, Graduation Requirements, and Cocurricular Program.

------(a) The local school board shall require that no later than July 1, 2016 the curriculum content
----------developed for each high school outlines district and graduation competencies and is consistent with
----------RSA 193-C:3, III.

As you can see, Ed 306.27 requires “competencies" in secondary schools based on RSA 193-C:3, III which does not even mention “competencies.” There is no statutory authority for Ed 306.27.

Existing statute:
RSA 193-C:3 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.
------(d) Teachers shall be involved in designing and using the assessment system.
------(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.

However, the AMENDMENT to HB 1604 authorizes Competency Based Education.

Existing regulation to require Competency Based Education in elementary schools:
----Ed 306.261 Kindergarten –Grade 8 School Curriculum,

--------(a) The local school board shall require no later than July 1, 2017 that in each school there is:

------------(1) A broad and well-balanced elementary school curriculum that outlines district competencies
------------for the K-8 program in compliance with RSA 193-C:3,III; and.

However, Ed 306.261 has the same lack of statutory authority in RSA 193-C:3, III.

AMENDED version of Rep. Ladd's HB 1604:

1 Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program; Statement of Purpose. Amend RSA 193-C:1, III to read as follows:

----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 INSTRUCTIONAL methods to enable students to acquire and apply the requisite knowledge and skills. IMPLEMENT INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS DESIGNED TO ENABLE STUDENTS TO ACQUIRE AND APPLY THE REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO:

----(a) ADVANCING STUDENTS TO HIGHER LEVEL WORK ONCE THEY DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL MASTERY OF COMPETENCY, RATHER THAN ADVANCING BASED UPON SEAT TIME IN THE CLASSROOM.
----(b) PROVIDING SUPPORT TO STRUGGLING STUDENTS BEFORE THEY ADVANCE IN AN EFFORT TO PREVENT LATER FAILURE.
----(c) KEEPING ALL STUDENTS ON [PACE] PATH TO GRADUATE AND TO ENSURE THOSE BELOW LEVEL MAKE PROGRESS.
----(d) PROMOTING INNOVATION LEARNING THAT HAS MEANING TO STUDENTS, CUTS ACROSS MULTIPLE CURRICULUM AREAS, AND INCLUDES VARIED LEARNING PATHWAYS.
----(e) GRADUATING STUDENTS WITH DEEPER COLLEGE AND CAREER READY SKILLS.

The method and means of instruction have long been designated as a local prerogative. This bill usurps local control by mandating a particular "method of instruction" for districts: Competency Based Education.

Please vote to kill HB 1604 as amended.

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