Please join us on Tuesday, April 28th at 8:30am in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) for a press conference.
The state Department of Education believes that schools and teachers should be accountable to the state and the US DOE. We believe they should be accountable to the local community and parents.
– Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, and that includes the ability to refuse their child’s participation in the statewide assessments.
– While the DOE pressures parents and students to participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment, they are rolling out yet another experimental statewide assessment reform, PACE. This program would make it impossible for parents to opt-out from these integrated assessments.
– The DOE Commissioner has refused an invitation from the Manchester School Board to participate in an open, public meeting.
– The only public input the state DOE has sought is through Survey Monkey, an online survey service. That is equivalent to telling taxpayers that their opinions and input are not welcome.
– The agency also is trying to shut down educational options for some students while allowing choice in other districts.
The Senate Education Committee will vote on HB 323 shortly after the press conference. Unless amended, this bill would give the state DOE far-reaching authority to determine which districts could participate in alternative assessments. There would not be any checks-and-balances of their authority with the legislature. And, parents would be denied their right to direct their children’s education with these assessments that would be tied to federal approval and latest waiver requests.
Please join us immediately after the press conference in room 103 for the Senate Education Committee’s executive session. The public may not speak, but can listen to the senators debate and vote on HB 323.
Commissioner Barry has finally agreed to meet with the largest school district in the state to answer their questions. Since Barry didn’t want to come alone, the State Board of Education Chair Tom Raffio will join her.
Previous the Commissioner refused saying that “A public meeting rarely accomplishes the kind of meaningful conversation necessary to support students and families in these complex times.” This is a public servant who doesn’t understand that she works for us and not vice versa.
Please come and ask the Commissioner about any of your concerns. The public is allowed to bring their questions and speak for 3 minutes (max.) during the Public Comment period at the beginning of the meeting – before the Commissioner engages in Q&Ar with the School Committee.
You might want to ask the Commissioner why she promised the US Department of Education in her most recent Waiver application that she would transition all our public schools over to a Regionally controlled pilot program under her control.
Unless the Senate reverses the Senate Education Committee’s recommendation to pass HB 323 on May 7th, districts will be forced to Regionalize ….. lest NH should lose federal funding. The Senate wants to hand the Commissioner a blank check to re-design our statewide assessment program. Only these new assessments will be weekly and parents won’t be able to Refuse them like they can with Smarter Balanced.
Rich Girard will carry this meeting LIVE for the whole state to listen to this discussion. People can listen on 90.7 WLMW FM and also online at
Manchester City Hall, Aldermanic Chamber 3rd floor . Free parking in the public lot behind City Hall.