Tag Archives: student

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

What To Do About The Growing Number Of Students Refusing To Take The Smarter Balanced Assessment

The opt out movement is catching fire in New Hampshire. More parents are refusing to let their children take the Smarter Balanced Assessment and for good reason.

Here are just a couple of good reasons to “refuse”:
The Smarter Balanced Common Core Mathematics Tests Are Fatally Flawed and Should Not Be Used An In-Depth Critique of the Smarter Balanced Tests for Mathematics

Representative Murotake’s testimony before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules laid out concerns from Nashua teachers. Here are some of their reactions to the Smarter Balanced Assessment:
1. Shockingly negative experience.
2. Totally grade level inappropriate; difficult even for some teachers with advanced
3. Seems the test was designed more as a psychological or sociological experiment, not as
a measure of academic learning. Who created this test, anyway? It couldn’t have been by
professional educators.
4. This would be a crushing emotional experience for my students.
5. It is nothing less than child abuse for my special ed students in my classroom.
6. I refuse to administer thus test to my students.
7. We’re going to collect up our comments and make sure it gets to the State.

Parents have been doing their own research and realizing they do not want their children to be used as a guinea pig in this latest experiment by the Feds.

School administrators continue to pressure parents into changing their minds by limiting the information that parents should have when making this decision.

The New Hampshire Department of Education issued a “Technical Advisory” through an Addendum added on January 13, 2015.
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It reads:
ADDENDUM – Added January 13, 2015
Although RSA 193-C-6 requires all public school students to participate in the statewide assessment (one assessment in English language arts, mathematics and science), there are no laws in the State of New Hampshire or rules at the New Hampshire Department of Education that would penalize a student for not participating in the statewide assessment. Additionally, the same is true if a parent determined that they would not allow their child to participate. However, the district will incur a lower participation rate, which is reported to the public.
Decisions regarding placements, grade retention and/or teacher evaluations in regards to the statewide assessment or any other assessment required by the school or school district are made at the local level. Supports for students with disabilities must be in accordance with state and federal law; however, a school district may always go above and beyond what is required in law.
If you have any questions please contact Heather Gage at Heather.Gage@doe.nh.gov or (603) 271-5992.

The NH DoE acknowledged that there were NO laws under which the Department of Education could PENALIZE parents or students who refused to take the statewide assessments.

Parents can refuse to let their children take the Smarter Balanced assessment WITH NO PENALTY.

Unfortunately administrators were unaware of this or they are withholding this information from parents. Either way, parents are well within their rights if they don’t want their children to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Parents and school administrators are now faced with a dilemma on what to do with the students who have refused to participate.

Hopefully school administrators will work with teachers and parents to come up with an alternative plan that includes quality instruction. Parents should take this opportunity to address their local school board to draft a new policy.

School districts have come up with “Blizzard Bags” in the event there is a snow storm that prevents children from attending school. Having a safe place for students to go and quality materials to work on during that time are reasonable requests.

This year may prove to be the year where things do not go perfectly and hopefully parents will be patient as school administrators realize they will need to make accommodations for the growing number of students that will not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. However this is also an opportunity for parents to address their school board members who are there to represent them and make a reasonable request for a policy that is reasonable.