Tag Archives: Pittsfield

Gov. Hassan’s Model School Is “Broken”

We’ve reported on parental concerns from the Pittsfield School district. (See the links below) However Governor Hassan has continued to hold Pittsfield up as the model school in New Hampshire based on the numerous federal reforms they’ve put in place.

On July 25th, the Concord Monitor ran a front page article on a student who graduated ill prepared for college or the workplace. Many of us have been warning parents about the federal reforms and the lack of focus on literacy. It comes as no surprise that students and board members are discovering there is a real problem in Pittsfield. We just wonder when the Superintendent and our Governor will wake up.

If you recall, Pittsfield handed control over to the Nellie Mae Foundation. Nellie Mae (think community organizers like ACORN) then came into the school to tell the teachers how to teach. Reporters and parents should file a Right to Know Request if they want to see what the school has to do in order to get Nellie Mae grant money. It should also be noted that all of this funding originates with the Gates Foundation and the Federal Government. In other words, the Feds are running your school in Pittsfield.

So how’s what working out for you?

In spite of the praises from Governor Hassan and the Superintendent who pats himself on the back at public hearings before legislators, it sure looks like the graduates are acknowledging it’s not working well at all.

‘Pushed out’: Pittsfield high school graduate returns to confront school board

Taylor Edwards, graduate from Pittsfield explains:
**“I felt like I could barely read things or understand when people are talking with me, or that I’m supposed to, like, sound smart in front of people, and I hardly can say half the words that I can say, so it’s hard for me.

**“I’m basically here to say that when I was going to high school here, I was basically kind of pushed out in a way. I wasn’t really helped out with my reading in a nutshell, really.”

****As for Nilsson, he said he plans to follow up at the school board’s meeting next month to see what progress has been made.

I think the school system up here is broken, and they’re not into the basics of learning. They’re trying to go above and beyond the basics, and you can’t go anywhere until you have the basics. You need your arithmetic, your reading, your writing,” he said.

Pittsfield Math: Common Core Math (Does it make sense?)

Pittsfield Under Attack From NGOs, Foundations, and PR Firms

Pittsfield, NH Parent Speaks Out Against Common Core

Pittsfield Listens: How to LOWER Academic Achievement in the School

Pittsfield NH School: Success or a BIG FAT LIE

Pittsfield Under Attack By NH Listens

Ayers Aligned Group Working In Pittsfield

NH Listens Coming To a Town Near You

The Radicalization of NH Teachers and Children

Math Education via Common Core in NH Claims More Children As Victims

Math Education via Common Core in NH Claims More Children As Victims

The Legislative Session begins in Concord next week as legislators start hearing testimony on legislation that has been submitted.
There are several Bills addressing Common Core, privacy and assessments. 
Below is a letter sent to the Senate Education Committee by a Pittsfield parent notifying them about the damage that is being done to her children through the Common Core math.

At what point will Governor Hassan step in and stop the madness? When will legislators listen to  parents and do something?  

This is what happens when you let the federal government continue to dictate what has to happen in our local schools.   

…with permission to post:

Dear Senator,
I was asked to attend on Tuesday, but I have no way into Concord. I hope this email makes the same Impression I could in person.

I live in Pittsfield and I am the mother of an amazing 10 year old boy. Nicholas is in 4th grade and is extremely bright, he has always grasped new concepts and learns quickly.
This past year I have seen my eager to learn little boy struggle of the constantly changing math. Some days he sits and cries , slaps himself in the head and calls himself stupid or idiot while doing homework.

There are so many issues and I will try and pick out a few. Like breaking down Multiplication. I will try and keep the examples simple. 124X6= Now to simply write 744 would be marked wrong. Now it is 120X6= 720 4X6= 24 720+24= 744. The issue is some of the problems were longer and he would get confused, miss a step and then get marked wrong. In fact he got most of the paper wrong. He gets word problems that can have different answers but still be correct, but gets marked wrong if it wasn’t the one they were looking for. Any math that involves estimating. Writing to explain. There is a good one. If the answer isn’t worded the way they want he gets marked wrong. Maybe sometimes 6 X 4= is just 24.
Last Night his homework was divide by subtracting several times. I thought Oh that’s easy. 16/4= 16-4 = 12 12-4= . Nicholas stopped me and proceeds to show me this complicated equation. He lost me halfway through it. After an hour he still was not done. I took the paper away and told him to turn it in the way it was.

I am so concerned about how they are teaching and that they are constantly changing how they teach the math. It makes him feel stupid. He sees his classmates struggling and told me one child started to
cry during class over the math. I do not know what the math is trying to accomplish other than divide children from their parents because we cannot understand the “New Math” or are they deliberately trying to confuse them? Education cannot be a one sized fits all concept. It will not work. The math is often Cognitively and developmentally inappropriate. They are trying to force kids into concepts and skills they are not ready for. I will not stand by and watch my child loose confidence in himself. I will not stand by and watch as people try and destroy the love for learning I instilled in my child from the time he was born. I cannot watch it happen to an entire generation.

Now I was informed by the superintendent that Pittsfield has not adopted the CCSS, Yet this is clearly the same math being used across the state and the country. The Papers say Common Core On it.
What kind of a world are we handing our children when we teach them 2+2+5? It’s high time we stop this in it’s tracks before we hear that clock begin striking 13.

Thank You,
Dawn Mistler, Pittsfield, NH

Pittsfield Math: Common Core Math (Does it make sense?)

Pittsfield Math

This is an example of a math problem given to a 1st grader (7 year old) in the Pittsfield school district.

This was sent by a mom who is frustrated by the math problems that are being assigned to the young children.

This is an extremely challenging problem for a 1st grader who is still trying to master (if even required) basic math facts.

As students progress, this might be a worthwhile problem, but as you can see, for many 7 year olds, this kind of abstract thinking can be extremely frustrating to a young child.

One has to also wonder, why not focus on memorizing:  5 + 8 = 13?  If children have to manipulate basic math, it can lead to simple errors.  Children who memorize their math facts, do not have to worry about making simple mistakes.   Students who’ve memorized their math facts are at an advantage over their peers who did not.

Related: http://www.nhteapartycoalition.org/tea/2013/02/16/sustainable-tyranny-spreads/

Pittsfield, NH Parent Speaks Out Against Common Core

With permission to post from a Pittsfield mother…..(this was sent to Sen. Shaheen, however Dawn was encouraged to send it to her state level legislators too)

Dear Senator,
Congratulations on your win last night.

I am contacting you to ask, no to beg you to help get rid of Common Core in NH before it is fully rolled out. CCSS is nothing short of child abuse.

Let me tell you about MY Child. Nicholas is 9 (almost 10) Nicholas is a sweet, compassionate intelligent little boy. A boy who was reading at 3 1/2, He wrote a story at 4. Sure it was only about 10 sentences, but it was something he did. He knew his ABC’s at , He could count to 100 at 3, and could count by 2′s 5′s and 10′s before he was in Kindergarten. He was reading at a 1st grade level entering school. He has always love to read and do math. Until Now!

Every afternoon getting homework done is a struggle, there are tears, and frustration. Math that should take seconds to complete now takes several minutes. The other night 20 simple multiplication facts took over an hour to complete.Breaking down numbers? How do you make 10 when adding 5+8? How about word problems that are written to confuse as enough information is not given to solve the problem. Points taken off because how an answer is come to isn’t good enough. REALLY? Much of it is inappropriate, cognitively and developmentally.

It breaks my heart to see my smart little boy breakdown and cry over math that should be simple. People like Arne Duncan think it’s fine, But he lives in a state that does not use CC. Bill Gates, his kids go to a private charter school. So it’s good enough for my child but not their’s? Well, as Sec Duncan called us, I am one very angry “White Suburban Mom.”

Please consider this and do whatever you can to be rid of this because, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Dawn Mistler
Pittsfield Parent

Be sure to read our prior articles on the FRAUD IN PITTSFIELD HERE:
Pittsfield Listens: How to Lower Academic Achievement In the School 

Pittsfield NH School: Success or a Big Fat Lie?

Pittsfield Listens: How to LOWER Academic Achievement in the School

Recently we exposed the FRAUD perpetrated by our own Governor Hassan as she praised the Pittsfield School District.   We suggest you read the article and do your own research.  We would suggest asking the many parents in Pittsfield who refuse to put their kids in the public school.  Including employees who work for the district but refuse to send their own kids to the school.

A Community Organizing Group (think ACORN) is fully engaged in pushing Obama’s high school redesign in the district.  They’ve participated in community meetings where hardly any residents show up.  They use the Delphi Technique to manipulate consensus among those who think they are actually contributing their opinions.

BELOW is the latest post from Pittsfield Listens.  You will notice they continue to PUSH “STUDENT CENTERED LEARNING” which has lowered academic achievement in cores subjects like math and science.  You will notice they don’t mention that to parents who attend.

Remember, Obama promised in his State of the Union Address to ‘redesign’ our public schools.  His Secretary of Education has even laid out that plan on the US DOE’s web site.

Did the parents in Pittsfield ask for this?  NO  This is a complete TOP-DOWN transformation to Outcome Based Education (OBE) with Common Core (CCSS).

This is how to erode local control.

Pittsfield follows the Feds (NOT parents) and was bought off by the Nellie Mae Foundation (think ACORN) through their Grants.  Nellie Mae Grants push failed teaching methods:  Student Centered Learning aka…Constructivism where teachers = facilitators.

We encourage Pittsfield parents to stop paying for this nonsense and start pushing back.  This is smoke and mirrors and your children are paying the price.

Obama’s redesign has nothing to do with academic achievement or literacy.  This is Workforce Training and it’s helpful to know how they are trying to fool parents into thinking this is good.

Outcome Based Education has failed repeatedly.  Progressives think if they just keep re-naming it (Competency Based Ed in NH) and re-selling it, maybe it will work the next time.

As we can see in Pittsfield, that’s not happening.  Nellie Mae and Pittsfield Listens are simply facilitators of Obama’s redesign but it is a dumbed down workforce training redesign from the Obama Admin.   Pittsfield Listens should be run out of town.  Nellie Mae Grants should be read by every parent and taxpayer in Pittsfield and then rejected.  Read the documents and look at what you had to sell in order to get the Nellie Mae money: Teaching methods that LOWER academic achievement.  (see links below for sources)

Student-Centered Learning 101 at the October Community Connection

Posted October 21

‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ -William Butler Yeats.

On Thursday October 9, Pittsfield Listens and the Pittsfield School District co-hosted a Community Connection on Student-Centered Learning 101, where community members joined to learn about SCL and how it has positively impacted Pittsfield Middle High School and the greater community.

The evening began with an open reception and dinner, with the opportunity to look at photos, articles, videos and handouts on Pittsfield Middle High School’s re-design and Pittsfield Listens’ community engagement efforts.  We opened the evening together in a circle with a round of introductions- where we learned we were joined by students, parents, staff, superintendent from a district in Massachusetts, home school parent, and community members with no connection to the school except a desire to learn more about the buzz about what’s happening with the redesign in the Pittsfield Schools. Read More…

Additional Parent Sources:

Pittsfield NH School: Success or a BIG FAT LIE?

The NH Dept. of Ed along with Governor Hassan has repeatedly referenced the Pittsfield School District as a great example of success in NH.  In fact, The Atlantic recently posted this article citing their self-proclaimed success.

The problem with these kinds of glossy articles is they never really uncover what is actually going on in the school.

One should always question School Administrators because we’ve seen example after example of schools “cooking the books” to fool parents.

Pittsfield’s last NECAP scores are higher than before – BUT! – only 28 students in the 11th grade took the test.  According to other sources, there were nearly 60 students in the class when they entered PMHS as Freshmen – that means that they have nearly a 50% attrition rate – Students dropped out, went to alternative high schools, out of district placement, and so on.  Don’t be fooled!  Their reported test scores are all smoke and mirrors – look at where all the students have gone – AND look at where the graduating seniors are going to college (hint: mostly community colleges.

Some have gone on to private schools, some are pulled for homeschooling, some drop out – You should always be suspect of schools claiming huge gains in test scores – remember Erasure-gate?

They have NO data on their website about atriticion but many “dropouts” are simply listed as going into an alt program, so that they can keep their numbers up. LOOK closely at the data – very closely.

“Drop out” is a misnomer in Pittsfield. It “really” doesn’t happen. School Board/District policy is “Failure is not an option,” therefore Competency Based education is their answer. Also, those deeply troubled students don’t get to drop out anymore, they merely get an HQT (highly qualified teacher) to approve some “workable” solution to get them through. They don’t even have to be at school anymore.

Some of the kids have been known to “party” at home all day and “graduate” anyway.