Category Archives: Curriculum

WARNING: From NH Teacher/Mother on Common Core

We received a letter from a parent/teacher in New Hampshire. She asked that her name be removed. Parents are removing their kids from the public schools but it’s even more telling that this one is a teacher too.
We hear from many parents and teachers and we thought this was one that needs to be read by as many people as possible.

Hi there –

Thanks for all you do on behalf of our children who are apart of the New Hampshire public school system. I’m a former teacher. I have a M.Ed from **** College. I used to teach elementary school but have been a stay at home mom for many years now while still keeping my certification valid.

I’m writing to let you know how Common Core, and other educational reforms, have impacted my children’s lives in the public school system. I have three children.

My two older kids had a great experience going through our public school system in elementary school. They are now in high school. Common Core started in our school system when they were in middle school. The way it has impacted them is the push we’re seeing to bring down the top kids and bring up the lower level learners. Both my older children are higher level learners. One qualified for a higher level math class in 6th grade. Instead of being encourage to pursue this great opportunity, we were being persuaded to keep him in a lower class so he could feel more apart of his peers. We put him in the higher level class anyway. We see similar things in high school. There seems to be a push to keep the higher level learners from being challenged.

My youngest is in second grade and I pulled her from school this year to homeschool. I pulled her also for the lack of being challenged. She is a higher level learner like her older siblings. At her elementary school there was plenty of extra help for the lower achievers. The teachers teach, using the standards, to the rest of the class. The higher level learners are left to be bored. When I asked the principal if there was a way to challenge her in math, I was told to challenge her in other areas of her life like extra curricular. When asked her teacher to challenge her, I was continually dismissed and told she needs to go “wider and deeper” and not higher. In kindergarten, when asked if she could move on to more advanced topics, she was instead given frustrating maze like math challenges to “improve her perseverance”. In 1st grade, my goals for her to be challenged in math were ignored. She cruised through all the math lessons not learning or being challenged.

I feel as though Common Core keeps kids in a box. There isn’t a way to move ahead if you are in first grade and on a third grade math level. When you get to 4th and 5th grade, I’ve heard repeatedly from parents over and over that the way math is taught is confusing for both students and parents and does not make sense. That is not incentive to put my daughter back into public school.

Our elementary school is a great elementary school with super teachers. We moved to this town because of our wonderful school. I would like to see our teachers free to collaborate and create their own standards within our school. The teachers in a school know their community of students best.

In addition, I do not like the Smarter Balanced. I have respectfully refused all standardized testing for all of my children in the past. I don’t like that the test not only tests for academics but also for dispositions and beliefs. I don’t like data being collected about my children. The countries top private schools do not use the Common Core and do not use the Smarter Balanced. We should use these top school as models.

A great number of parents in our school system also do not like the shift to Competency Based Assessments either. Our schools are slowly changing over. Again it’s the parents of the higher level learners that seem to prefer traditional grading. We had a petition in our school system going around on change.org to keep traditional grading. Many parents and students signed it with numerous comments and reasons to keep traditional grading.

We are much happier out of the public school system and not having to deal with all these educational reforms like Common Core, Smarter Balanced and Competency Based Assessments. With homeschooling I can tailor my youngest child’s education to her individual needs. Public school can’t do that at this point in time with the restraints and expectations of Common Core. As I’ve personally seen at various grade levels, there seems to be a push to keep the higher level learners from being challenged. Many other parents I have talked to feel he same way.

I would love to turn back the clock when school was fun and teachers had the autonomy in the classroom to teach towards each childs individual needs and challenge them and take them as far as they can go.

Kindly,
Parent from SAU16

Governor Hassan’s Legacy: The Common Core Failure

There’s not much more to add to this except to say, this is the legacy from the Hassan tenure.
This is a copy of a homework assignment given to a 3rd grade New Hampshire student. We believe it speaks for itself.

Suggestions for parents:
1) Keep taking these examples to your PUBLIC school board meetings and show your elected board members.
2) Keep telling your elected representatives and senators that Common Core is dumbing down our schools.
3) Replace textbooks or curriculum that you believe is harming your child’s education. HB542 was passed into NH law a few years ago and your school should have a policy in place that says you can replace objectionable materials at your expense. You do need to have the administration approve of the change, but if they do not approve, take it to your school board and/or media.

IF you want your child to get a quality education in New Hampshire, Common Core/ Next Generation Science standards will NOT do that. You have to fight for a better quality education for your children.

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Governor Hassan’s Education Failure: Common Core

Has anyone noticed that Governor Hassan, in her campaign for U.S. Senate, hasn’t addressed the important issue of Common Core? I suppose if you were running for a seat in the United States Senate, you wouldn’t want to bring up this controversial issue either. Especially since she is the facilitator in New Hampshire and has saddled our public schools with this mess.

As she leaves the corner office in Concord, she leaves a legacy of dumbed down standards for our kids, and continues to ignore parents who want something better.

In this recent article from Utahns Against Common Core, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox addresses the concerns raised by parents in Utah:
“Over the past year, I have listened intently to the growing chorus of concern with regards to the adoption of Common Core standards. While there is clearly a great deal of misinformation being disseminated on both sides of this issue, there are legitimate concerns that I share with those opposed to the Common Core. As I have listened, and researched, it has become clear to me that, although well-intentioned, the conflict, discord and divisiveness associated with these standards is doing more harm than good. Unfortunately, we have lost the focus on what matters most–our students and making sure our teachers have the resources and tools necessary to provide a world-class education. As such, today I announce that I am withdrawing my support for Common Core.”

Has Governor Hassan addressed parents who’ve brought their concerns forward? NO
Has Governor Hassan provided any evidence that Common Core has improved the quality of education in NH since it was adopted in 2010? NO
Has Governor Hassan held a town-hall with parents so she could hear the problems parents have had to face with Common Core? NO

New Hampshire prides itself on local control in education but Governor Hassan doesn’t want to hear from local parents and residents who are having serious issues with this current education fad.

There is a petition that has 1765 signatures on it calling for eliminating Common Core in New Hampshire. That goes ignored by Governor Hassan. Governor Hassan is AWOL on one of her biggest failures: public education.

Parents, teachers and students deserve better than Common Core and we deserve better from Governor Hassan.
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The NH Dept of Ed & the NEA Team Up To Bring Students More Failed Fads

New Hampshire Teachers have seen failed fads come and go but now they are seeing many of the old failed fads resurrected in their classrooms. Failed fads like Outcome Based Education has been called new and innovative now that it’s back in New Hampshire.

Since so many people realize Outcome Based Ed.(OBE) was a failure in the 90′s, Education Reformers changed the name to “Competency Based Education” (CBE) to throw parents off their track. Whether it’s called Outcome Based Ed. or Competency Based Ed. it’s still the same education fad that failed students a few decades ago.

In this post, Student Learning Outcomes and the Decline of American Education, the author takes you through the history of OBE and how education fads led to the decline in American education.

He explains one of these failed fads: Student Learning Outcomes or SLOs:
SLO ancestor Total Quality Management (TQM) slithered into view during the 1980s and spawned Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in the 1990s. TQM was originally a business management theory that preached constant improvement; OBE was an explicitly educational offshoot of TQM that insisted that college courses must have expressed measurable results.

He goes on to note that he critiqued SLOs in 2003:
OBE and Learning Outcomes and Assessment are not about education at all; they are about control. Nothing is more seductive to ideologues and to management than the prospect of creating a meaningless “jargon and data storm” to justify or conceal whatever they do. Where does it end? As William S. Burroughs said, “…control can never be a means to any practical end…. It can never be a means to anything but more control….”

CONTROL. Control of education seems to be something both political parties have been fighting for. The latest federal law (Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA) is about power and control. Sure the talking points tell you that ESSA returns power to the state, but the ultimate authority is the U.S. Secretary of Education. The U.S. Secretary of Education has been given power to withhold funding if state plans are not to his liking. That’s not returning power to the states, that’s unprecedented power to the feds.

Why would ESSA pass with bi-partisan support? Because both parties think they are better at controlling education.

In his article, David Clemens identifies what each political party wants to control when it comes to education policy:
The right sees SLOs as a way to enforce professor accountability, increase “productivity,” and get rid of bad teachers and junk courses. The left sees SLOs as a golden opportunity to promote progressivism through ideological outcomes that students must internalize in order to pass.

He goes on to explain how the social justice political indoctrination is seeping into your child’s curriculum through the SLOs. He also explains how this kind of education reform does nothing to help your child academically. Since most parents want the best for their children, parents across the country are starting to get angry at the dumbing down they see, but it’s also important for parents to see where this is coming from.

Governor Hassan’s Department of Education has been fully facilitating all of the federal reforms without hesitation. No where do you see her or the bureaucrats questioning these fads, but instead they are driving them into our schools without offering administrators any kind of critical analysis.

The New Hampshire Department of Education and the NEA-NH teamed up to develop the SLOs for New Hampshire Schools. You can see in this announcement on their “partnership.” Keep in mind that that NEA in NH has also been working against parents and in support of the dumbed down Common Core Standards.

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The same bureaucratic agency that tells us that their objective is to teach kids to “think critically,” are the same bureaucrats who fail to look at any of these failed fads with a critical eye!

Common Core Math deficiencies

Do you know what’s missing from the Common Core Math Standards? What are the deficiencies? Do your school board members know? Do your school administrators know?
They should. Not only should they know, they should be making sure parents and school board members are informed.
THEN, they should be making sure these gaps are filled in.

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WARNING: Senate District 16: Towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester.

PARENTS URGENT WARNING, you have a candidate for New Hampshire Senate who has been actively working against your children!

Scott McGilvray is running for New Hampshire Senate in District 16. As the president of the NEA-New Hampshire, many teachers are disappointed with the NEA’s support of Common Core. Not only did the NEA let the teachers down, this teacher blogs about the pay-off to support Common Core.
“NEA has been the recipient of more than seven million dollars since 2009 for the purpose of advocating for CCSS.”

We do NOT need a rubber stamp in Concord working against parents, students and teachers.
There is a good alternative, J.R. Hoell. As a representative, J.R. Hoell has not only advocated for quality academic standards in our public schools, he’s been supportive of parental rights.

Rep. Hoell introduced legislation a few years ago that gave parents the right to opt out of objectionable material. Rep. Hoell has proven to be a champion for public education and parental rights.

Parents you have the proof so now it’s time to make sure you inform your neighbors and friends who really supports students, parents and public education in New Hampshire. It’s NOT Scott McGilvary.

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UPDATE: Joe Duarte is running for Senate in District 16 and is a far better choice for voters in BOW, DUNBARTON, HOOKSETT and parts of MANCHESTER.

Graphic Dating Survey Developed in NH

Graphic “dating” survey given to high school students in Andover, Mass. Crude questions on sexual experience, homosexuality, criminal assault, and more. Outraged parents confront school officials.

“According to the press report, this survey was created by a department at the University of New Hampshire. It is part of a national program funded by the Obama Justice Department promoting the “campus rape culture” myth, and is called “Bringing in the Bystander.” People from the university are traveling to 30 high schools in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to administer the survey to students.”

Read more…

Now the STATE will instill values in your children??

We received a message from a parent regarding the new social and emotional learning that Portsmouth has been using in their schools.

Just saw a reference to this in a school newsletter. Apparently it has been used in Portsmouth elementary school for the past 4 yrs. It is a social, emotional learning curriculum(SEL). It sounds like the teachers who are being “trained” in this curriculum are now amateur psychotherapists. The part that was alarming in reading one of the things I found online was the reference to creating a microcosm in the school reflecting what our society “should” look like outside of the school. It sounds nice about children getting along, dealing with their emotions in a respectful way, etc… but how is it implemented and how much time is being used to “raise” these kids instead of educate them and how is this stuff integrated in the other academic curriculum?

https://www.wcwonline.org/Active-Projects/open-circle

The parent raises some valid concerns. We’ve been through “values clarification” in the past only to find out schools were in the process of working to change the values of students.

Parents also support a disciplined environment where shared values are supported. Values like, honesty, integrity, truthfulness, respect, etc.This has been done by teachers and with administrative support in the past so we know it can be done successfully.

However this parent brings up valid concerns about what this actually means.
Why does a school have to utilize a program to promote good behavior among the students? How much does this cost the taxpayers? Shouldn’t the shared values come from the parents in the community? So parents know that their values will not be undermined?

These are the questions parents need to be asking as more schools shift focus away from the academics to the social and emotional learning. This is why conservative groups oppose SETRA and called for the halt to the psychological profiling of students.

We encourage you to watch the video found embedded in the “Wesley Centers for Women” website. While some of this sounds good and we can certainly appreciate teachers who instill values like honesty, listening, respect for self and others, there were a few concerns we had with what was being presented.

First, there is a reference at 1:45 to a change in the classroom from a time when students worked independently versus cooperatively. We’d just like to point out that many parents have concerns that this shift has caused many problems for their children.

For instance, the strong student academically is forced to help the other students along and placing a big burden on that child/children. Parents now question why they are paying a teacher to “facilitate” versus teach.

Other parents have wondered if this is an attempt to squash individualism in an effort to push collectivism.

While we believe it’s helpful for children to learn how to work as a team, we’ve also noticed a big push for this in the classroom in an effort to please corporate America that continues to push for the dumbed down Competency Based Education that shifts focus to workforce skills.

Around 1:50 she talks about this focus on challenging others on their ideas in a respectful manner. Again, this certainly can be a useful skill but some are concerned that this will be an attempt to challenge a child’s values that they’ve been taught at home.

Will that happen using this program? It’s hard to say but it certainly is worthy of noting.

Then around 2:05 she gets the heart of what this is all about, she mentions these skills are for the workplace. But she also mentions this is for young children.

Are we training workers AGAIN? YES, because Competency Based Ed is all about dumbing down the academics in favor of workforce training. It’s also worth noting that the elite private and parochial schools NEVER use this model for their students.

We certainly do not want to alarm parents with what may be some good behavior techniques that teachers can use in order to help the students. However we also want to make sure parents are aware and can then look at these programs with a critical eye.

The makers of this program include in their mission:
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.

The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.

We’ve known that social justice and key terms like that have translated into extreme political agendas.

If you are in doubt, ask to see the teachers manual. Sit in on the class and observe when they are doing circle time. Find out what it costs your district. Exactly what values or “workforce” skills are they incorporating and most importantly, how much time are they taking away from academics?

The key is not to assume the worst but to be knowledgable and figure out if this is really what you want for your children and should you be funding this in your district.

BOMBSHELL: What We Always Knew About These Programs

Common Core is no different.

These federal programs (illegal we might add) are nothing but fads crafted to make money for admins and other consultants while teachers have to suffer using bogus methods while taking the heat for their failures.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt posted a $576 million net sales number for the third quarter of 2015, up 4 per cent from the previous year.

The company’s latest earnings statement says it expects its 2016 sales will be between $1.53 billion and $1.58 billion.

Read more…