Tag Archives: Nashua

NASHUA Votes to Stops Funding anti-Parental-Rights : NH School Boards Assoc.

Congratulations to Nashua taxpayers, you will no longer be fleeced by the New Hampshire School Boards Association. The Nashua School Board voted to stop paying dues to the New Hampshire School Boards Association today. (NHSBA)

Everyone needs to contact their local school board members and ask them to do the same. Tell them to eliminate funding of “dues and membership” to the New Hampshire School Boards Association and the New Hampshire School Administrators Association.

These two associations hire and pay six figure salaries to lobbyists that oppose local control of education.

The school board association sends out weekly emails but never designates which way they are lobbying on any particular bill. Nor do they seek input from school boards on these bills.

—The state prohibits the use of its funds from being directly or indirectly used to hire lobbyists under RSA 15. But schools pay dues to these organizations who then hire the lobbyists. Are they ignoring state law or just shuffling the money around?

RSA 15:5 Prohibited Activities. –
I. Except as provided in paragraph II, no recipient of a grant or appropriation of state funds may use the state funds to lobby or attempt to influence legislation, participate in political activity, or contribute funds to any entity engaged in these activities.
II. Any recipient of a grant or appropriation of state funds that wishes to engage in any of the activities prohibited in paragraph I, or contribute funds to any entity engaged in these activities, shall segregate the state funds in such a manner that such funds are physically and financially separate from any non-state funds that may be used for any of these purposes. Mere bookkeeping separation of the state funds from other moneys shall not be sufficient.
Source. 2006, 21:7, eff. June 2, 2006.

When the school district allocates money for professional dues, this money is often pooled with membership dues from other districts and then used to hire a lobbyist. Who controls this lobbyist? Most taxpayers are unaware that their money may be indirectly use against them when they testify before their state legislature. Many times taxpayers are inadvertently funding their opposition without their knowledge. How can the people direct or control the voice of these lobbyists, which not only undermines their voice because a lobbyist can spend weeks in Concord in opposition to their bill, but it discourages individual citizen participation?

NH School Boards Association:list of Bills the NHSBA OPPOSED by using YOUR money:
*HB 1231 relative to school district policy regarding obj. course material
*HB1366 relative to the definition of educational competencies
*SB 354 requiring the commissioner and deputy commission to be confirmed by a joint session of the general court
*SB 355 requiring the member of the state board of education to be elected by a joint session of the general court
*SB 320 relative to non-academic surveys administered by a public school to its students.

For 2010 nearly all the NHSBA revenue $881k came from taxpayers through memberships $734k, policy subscriptions $72k, school district services $37k, school board development $16k, etc. The only revenue which isn’t directly from the tax payers is NHSBA’s investment income $18k. Yet NHSBA hides their policy objectives FROM THE PEOPLE!!!

The NH School Administrators Association‘s lobbyist signed a letter in 2012 to support a Statewide Longitudinal Database federal grant application, which provides private student-level data to the federal government.
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/pdf/NewHampshire2012.pdf page 80

How many taxpayers in New Hampshire, particularly parents, would have given their consent for this type of data-mining of their child’s private information? None. Yet using local taxpayer money, this lobbyist was hired with local taxpayer money and he supported a longitudinal data base that now tracks and stores some 400 data points of information on each and every New Hampshire student.

Taxpayers and parents need to start demanding that their board members vote to STOP funding lobbyists who work against parental rights. If Nashua can do it, all schools in New Hampshire can do the same.

The Election Results Are In…..It’s NOT Good For Common Core

Rich Girard won a seat on the Manchester School board along with Lisa Freeman. Both are new to the board and outspoken critics of Common Core. They support parental rights and will challenge the status quo.
Parents in Manchester need to stay informed and keep speaking up!!

Doris Hohensee and Howard Coffman both won seats on the Nashua School board too. Doris has been a vocal activist fighting the Common Core reforms and supporting parental rights in NH. Coffman and Hohensee are new to the board and that is GREAT news for the students and parents in Nashua.

While many parents have pulled their kids out of the public schools over Common Core, we continue to encourage them to stay in the game. Keep fighting for a better education for all kids in your district and throughout New Hampshire.

Congratulations to these newest board members and those who were re-elected with the intention to serve the children INSTEAD OF THE BUREAUCRACY!!!!!

NASHUA, VOTE FOR: Doris Hohensee and Howard Coffman SCHOOL BOARD

URGENT VOTE on November 3rd.
Get out the vote for the following FIVE candidates:
Nashua School Board Graphic

We believe these candidates are the best ones to support parental rights and quality academic standards in Nashua.


Stop Common Core in NH is committed to parental rights and opposing unproven federal initiatives in our schools and will continue to guide voters towards the best candidates running for school board.


NASHUA Smarter Balanced Scores RELEASED: It’s Not Good?

The New Hampshire Dept. of Education directed Superintendents across New Hampshire to withhold the data on the preliminary proficiency scores from the Smarter Balanced (Common Core) Assessment.

Parents and school board members around the state began asking, who do the Superintendents work for? Commissioner Barry OR the local community that hires and fires them? Once again, we see the Commissioner directing our Superintendents as if they work for her. Commissioner Barry continues to pit NH Superintendents against the people who pay their salaries.

The Nashua School Board recently directed their Superintendent, Mark Conrad, to release the preliminary scores. As we predicted, the low scores are shocking.

We do want to remind everyone that these are PRELIMINARY SCORES and are subject to change, however these initial scores do not look good at all.

This might be a startling revelation for many people, but can you rely on these scores to determine if your child or school is not performing well?

We’ve posted information on how the Smarter Balanced Assessment is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. We’ve shared information from assessment experts who’ve reminded us that this assessment has NOT been independently validated. We know the Nashau teachers have informed the community that this assessment comes with serious problems.

So why does Governor Hassan, Commissioner Barry and the NH Department of Education, continue to force this upon our schools and students? When will they choose an achievement TEST that is validated and tests knowledge? Why do they continue to force our schools to use psychometric assessments that assess our child’s values, attitudes and beliefs?

The New Hampshire Department of Education operates with a standardized assessment that no one can rely upon for good data and yet this is the information that will be collected on your children and used against them and your teachers too. This was a SET UP FOR FAILURE for your children and teachers!

INCOMPETENT? That’s what we are beginning to believe.

BRAVO to the Nashua school board members who reminded everyone who employs the Superintendent in their school district. They were right to criticize the Commissioner for her continued over-reach of authority. (source: Nashua BoE Meeting 10/13/15 Minute 2:54:00 to 2:57:11)

SBAC prelim release to BOE Oct 2015

Is the Nashua Superintendent Purposely Misleading Parents?

We’ve posted information on REFUSING the Smarter Balanced Assessment for your children. There’s even a petition to stop the abusive practices by the NH Dept. of Education. Unfortunately we continue to see administrators not providing parents with ALL of the information on their rights to refuse the Smarter Balanced for their children.

This latest letter comes from a parent in Nashua who was upset that the Superintendent didn’t provide all of the information for parents on their right to “Refuse”.

This is why HB603 is needed. HB603 declares that a student exempted from taking the statewide assessment by the student’s parent or legal guardian shall not be penalized. The bill also requires a school district to provide an appropriate alternative educational activity for the time period during which the assessment is administered..

Please call Governor Hassan and ask her to sign HB603 and support parents.

Parents also need to hold their school administrators accountable for the lack of information they are providing to parents. Manchester chose to fully inform parents on their refusal rights. Why are other schools choosing to keep parents in the dark?

It’s time to march into the next school board meeting and let them know this is unacceptable.

May 15, 2015

Dear Parents:

The State of New Hampshire requires an annual statewide assessment for English Language Arts and Math for students in grades 3-8 and 11. RSA 193-C:6 states, “Each year, a statewide assessment shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school. All public school students in the designated grades shall participate in the assessment…”

To meet this requirement in English Language Arts and Math the State has chosen the Smarter Balanced assessment. To meet a similar requirement in science, for many years the State has participated in the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), which is administered to students in grades 4, 8 and 11.

All public school students in the designated grade levels are required to participate in the Smarter Balanced and Science NECAP assessments, with only limited exemptions approved by the NH Department of Education for such circumstances as a serious illness or a death in the family. There is no opt-out provision in state statute based on parental choice. However, based on a recent Board of Education motion, if you keep your child out of school on the day of the assessment, the school will consider this an excused absence.

These assessments provide valuable information about your child’s progress, and the school’s progress, to parents, teachers and students. Should you have any further concerns I would invite you to contact Jennifer Seusing, our Assistant Superintendent for Accountability and Assessment, at 966-1069, or at SeusingJ@nashua.edu. She will be happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns.


Mark Conrad
Superintendent of Schools

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: What to do when your school administrators mislead you

Parental RIGHTS Under Attack By Nashua Teacher

A Nashua teacher wants to undermine PARENTAL RIGHTS and eliminate the OPT OUT of objectionable materials in public school law. She’s working with the AFT union to ELIMINATE a law which protects parental rights.

Ultimately, these decisions should come from the parents. We’ve seen enough examples where teachers and schools exchange real science instruction for political indoctrination.

We encourage parents to engage their school administrators and teachers in an honest discussion on all subject material, however the decision still needs to be made by the parents.

In this case, the student remained in the class but the teacher still wants to remove the rights of the parents to be the one who makes this decision. That’s WRONG.

RSA 186-11 IX-c. Requires school districts to adopt a policy allowing an exception to specific course material based on a parent’s or legal guardian’s determination that the MATERIAL is OBJECTIONABLE. Such policy shall include a provision requiring the parent or legal guardian to notify the school principal or designee in writing of the specific material to which they object and a provision requiring an alternative agreed upon by the school district and the parent, at the parent’s expense, sufficient to enable the child to meet state requirements for education in the particular subject area. The name of the parent or legal guardian and ANY SPECIFIC REASONS disclosed to school officials for the objection to the material SHALL NOT BE PUBLIC INFORMATION and shall be excluded from access under RSA 91-A.

Maybe it’s time for a PARENTS UNION? Please reach out Ms. Miller and tell her parents rights trump hers. millera@nashua.edu


Focus on evolution, climate change earn Nashua teacher adventure trip through Grand Canyon


Staff Writer

NASHUA – A focus on teaching evolution helped a Nashua High School North science teacher win one of two scholarships in the country for an eight-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.

Alyson Miller was awarded the scholarship by the National Center for Science Education along with a teacher in Fresno, Calif.

Miller said she was motivated last year after she had a student whose parents wanted her to opt out of learning about evolution in a high school biology class.

“Taking out evolution is like taking the tree trunk out of a tree,” Miller said. “You’re just left with a pile of leaves.”

Although the student ultimately didn’t leave her class, the policy allowing parents to opt students out of lessons they deem objectionable is state law: Chapter 186:11 IX-C.

“I couldn’t believe this law existed,” said Miller, who said she started looking into the law. She said although it appeared to be prompted by parental objection to sex education in health class, the language allows it to be applied to any course material if parents consider it objectionable.

This year, Miller secured the American Federation of Teacher-Leader grant designed to help teachers make policy changes and began working on finding a way to repeal the law. She’s working with an AFT lawyer to explore how to amend the law now.

“I’m looking to see if the policy has been used, how many times and if it’s been used in a science classroom,” she said.

Miller connected with the NCSE while researching the opt-out policy.

“The National Center for Science Education is kind of a ‘go to’ place for science leaders when you have a question on evolution or climate change,” Miller said. “They were so helpful. They sent back a whole lot of information.”

Miller noticed a posting for the Grand Canyon scholarship.

“I thought that would be really motivating, and a win-win. If I didn’t win the trip, I’d have a lesson plan really finely tuned,” she said, referring to the lesson plan she developed for the application.

Miller has been brushing up on geology in preparation for the trip, although she said experiencing science through nature is the best lesson.

“I’m thrilled to be learning about it,” she said. “I just really would like to bring back to my students something interesting.”

Read the rest of the article by clicking here

WARNING NEW HAMPSHIRE on Standardized Assessments

Parents, teachers, and activists around New Hampshire have been warning about the new computer adaptive Common Core standardized assessments. The NH DOE signed on to Smarter Balanced before it was ever validated.  (It still has NOT been validated as required by law)

The NH DOE and BOE have turned a deaf ear to concerns that have been raised by many people.  Only now has Commissioner Barry “offered” schools the option of using the SAT (which will also be a Common Core assessment) as a replacement IF all schools AGREE to use it.

Where is the local control?  What about Wakefield whose School Board was wise enough to reject the Common Core Standards and instead, use the better quality (OLD) Mass. Standards?  Why should they subject their students to ridiculous and confusing math questions that do nothing to show a child’s true math proficiency?

The NH Dept. of Ed and Board of Ed. simply follow the Federal Department of Education that continues to use our kids like guinea pigs in this continued failed experiment.

WE URGE PARENTS TO REFUSE THE STANDARDIZED TESTS.  At the MINIMUM all parents should observe the classroom when these tests are given to their children.  Make notes and send us an update.

Thanks to the Union Leader for their coverage and more importantly, to teachers like Oden who are courageous enough to speak out.

December 17. 2014 10:35PM

Nashua assessment tests miss the mark


Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA — Some results from the latest round of i-Ready assessment tests may have been flawed because the test company, Massachusetts-based Curriculum Associates, failed to tell the school district that tables used to interpret scores had been changed.

Students in first through ninth-grades take i-Ready math and reading assessment tests three times each year. Teachers use the results of the 45-minute tests to understand each child’s academic strengths and needs, and to tailor instruction to each individual child. “We were not updated on one of the test tools, the placement tables,” said Superintendent Mark Conrad, who added that Curriculum Associates recalibrated those tables without telling the school district.

Conrad said the result was that children from two or three elementary schools were placed in the wrong “skills groups.” The error has since been corrected, and Conrad said the district may receive a financial credit from the company.

Although Conrad said the school district has been working with Curriculum Associates for about three years, and the experience has been “exceptional,” the glitch put assessment tests back in the spotlight at the Board of Education meeting this week. BOE member Dotty Oden, a former first-grade teacher at Amherst Elementary School, said she has had ongoing concerns about i-Ready tests and the upcoming Smarter Balanced tests that begin this spring.

Like Smarter Balanced, i-Ready is an online, adaptive test program based on the Common Core standards.

“I have been hearing from teachers that the data from the tests is not indicative of the children they are seeing in the classroom,” said Oden who added that some teachers saw their entire class score below grade level on i-Ready tests.

While Common Core advocates say the new standards and tests are more rigorous and better prepare students for college and careers, Oden and others worry that the tests are developmentally inappropriate, particularly for math.

“Kids at early stages of development are more concrete thinkers,” she said.

The new standards and tests require critical and abstract thinking which Oden and others say is out of sync with how children naturally develop.

And because i-Ready tests are used to inform teachers on how to teach, and are not part of grades, Oden worries that students in higher grades don’t take them seriously.

Still, Conrad said i-Ready gives teachers information they can use to decide the next best instructional step for students.

“In many cases, teachers say they do get valuable information from i-Ready,” he said adding that the test results are part of a mix of other measures such as classroom work and regular test scores.

But for Oden, those more traditional measures and a teacher’s observations and experience offer a broader and more reliable assessment of students.




NASHUA Presentation on Smarter Balanced Assessment

Scott Mantie, Ph.D., Administrator – Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Smarter Balanced, NECAP, Alternative Assessments, NAEP, and Curriculum Frameworks, will give brief the Nashua Board of Education on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in a special work session on 11/13/2014 at 6:30 PM. at Nashua High School North, Board Room, 8 Titan Way, Nashua, NH 03063. Note: This is a work session for the BoE, and not a public hearing. The public is invited, but there is no public comment period on the agenda.


Common Core foe emerges to challenge Democrat Bette Lasky for Nashua state senate seat

Staff Writer

CONCORD – Nashua Republican Doris Hohensee said when no one else would step up, she decided to take on state Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, in one of the most Democratic districts in the state.

Hohensee, a longtime advocate of home schooling and public education reform, said opposition to the Common Core standards are a major issue in this campaign.

“We are seeing a coalition mobilizing against this because it’s bad for the teachers and bad for the students. We’ve got labor unions with concerns, school boards saying it should be delayed or done away with,” Hohensee said.

“As far as I’m concerned, Bette Lasky has done nothing about this and so my involvement will either move her to do something, or I’ll get in there and change things.”

Read more…