Tag Archives: CommissionerBarry

Has the NH Commissioner Been Lying to Parents?

Now that the abysmal Smarter Balanced scores have come out, the spinning has just begun.

The Common Core soldiers in the state are spinning these results to avoid some of the tough questions that come from this testing scheme.

In the past, New Hampshire under Commissioner Virginia Barry, students took the NECAP. Now they are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Under the NECAP, New Hampshire students showed relatively high levels of proficiency in the core subjects. Those proficiency levels just DROPPED.

What does this mean for children who took the NECAP and those who recently took the SBA?
Does this mean, as one activist in New Hampshire recently said, the NH Department of Education has been lying to parents in the past?

While they SPIN these results, it’s important to note how none of these bureaucrats take responsibility for any of this.

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Is the New Hampshire Commissioner of Ed Misleading Parents Again?

If you click on the link below, you will find more praise for the Common Core Standards and assessments. However, are they telling us the truth? Are they misleading us again? Are they refusing to give us the facts? Are they incapable of providing critical information on the Common Core standards and assessments?
You be the judge….

Q: What kind of change in results can states expect with higher standards and these new assessments?
A: As students have more years of instruction aligned to new standards, results typically improve. For example, in Kentucky, the first state to begin using the Common Core standards, student test scores went down at first. But, over the next four years as teachers and students worked to meet higher standards, the percentage of high school graduates meeting the state’s benchmark for college and career readiness increased from 34 percent to 62 percent. There also have been impressive gains in ACT sores in Tennessee since adoption of more rigorous standards. And in California, where students have taken an early assessment of college readiness and participated in 12th grade courses to improve their preparation since 2007, the proportion of students needing remediation at the California State University has dropped from 56 percent to 43 percent.


Here is what Commissioner Barry left OUT of the propaganda ………
FROM THE Bluegrass Institute:

Do Kentucky’s schools deserve to be, “…congratulated for their continued progress on graduating more students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in the 21st century,” as Interim Kentucky Commissioner of Education Kevin Brown claims?
Sadly, Holliday and others are actually hitting on sour notes, using “apples to oranges” comparisons in what they consistently mislabel as the state’s “College and Career Readiness” rates. Aside from presenting numbers that are not comparable over the time period cited, a growing number of people think Kentucky Education’s latest numbers themselves are a shaky.
Furthermore, when the college/career ready numbers are tied to those graduation rate figures, it turns out that a gruesomely large proportion of our students are leaving high school with only a hollow piece of paper. Thousands being declared ready are not really getting the educations they need.
How many kids are we talking about? Even if we accept both Kentucky Education’s college/career rates and graduation rate data as accurate, the Bluegrass Institute estimates that more than 40 percent of the students who started the ninth grade with the high school class of 2015 failed to leave school with an adequate preparation for life. Some of those who failed dropped out of high school, but many were socially promoted all the way to an empty diploma.

Findings from two groups suggest the Kentucky Department of Education’s standards for preparing students for college and adult life are lacking and that the department’s statistics are misleading.

Both the Bluegrass Institute and the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission’s Office of Education Accountability recently released reports critical of KDE’s performance.

KDE’s willingness to put “spin above substance” makes its data misleading, said Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute. The institute “works with Kentuckians, grassroots organizations and business owners to advance freedom and prosperity by promoting free-market capitalism, smaller government and the defense of personal liberties,” according to its website.

“We have questions about whether we’re really getting the needed information to really determine how Kentucky has performed in its college and career readiness arena,” Waters said. “Have these improvements actually occurred, or has the bar been lowered to give the appearance of improvements?”

When did you give up local control to the NH Commissioner of Ed? Virginia Barry

NH residents need to start asking themselves, when did they give up local control to the Commissioner of Education, Virginia Barry?
Has our State Commissioner of Education overstepped her boundaries AGAIN?
Who pays the Superintendents?
Who hires and fires the Superintendents?
It’s not the Commissioner, and she has NO right to put our administrators in a position where they cannot share information with the people who pay their salary.
The NH Dept. of Education is again, overstepping their authority and grabbing control away from local communities.

From the Girard at Large web site:

MSD: Withholding Smarter Balanced Assessment scores

The Manchester School District, in response to a right to know request we filed last Thursday, has acknowledged it has received the city’s Smarter Balanced Assessment scores from the state Department of Education and has had them for several weeks. However, in an email sent to us yesterday, Superintendent Debra Livingston denied our request for the scores to be released, saying they would be released in conjunction with the state D o E. (Interestingly, she copied the entire school board on her response, despite our not copying them on our inquiry.)

Results withheld
Just four hours later, the district issued a statement saying the scores will be available to parents and the public on November twelfth. The statement also announced that S A U staff will quote

“soon be reviewing the data and preparing instructional materials for principals and teachers to use in order to interpret and make the best use of the data.”

It also said the data will be sent to the schools later this week and given to teachers on Monday, September twenty eighth. Livingston said the data would be used to quote “establish a baseline of achievement.”

Glassner: Got the info
We made the inquiry after State Board of Education Chair Tom Raffio told Sid Glassner, during his show Inside Education on this radio station, that the state had the assessment scoring and had sent it to school districts weeks ago. Glassner discussed it at length last Thursday during the Girard at Large “Is Our Children Learning?” segment. According to the state department of education, the scores were supposed to be released in July so districts could use the data to inform instruction in the coming school year.

NH Commissioner Barry Finally Agrees To Meet With The Manchester School Board

Finally Commissioner Barry has decided to meet with the Manchester School Board next Monday night, reversing her previous opposition to PUBLIC meetings. NH BoE Chairman (and lobbyist) Tom Raffio will join the Commissioner, since she didn’t want to meet alone with Mayor Gatsas.

Let’s make the Commissioner accountable to the people. Let’s have an open discussion on her new Waiver proposals.

How is that going to affect Manchester students and the rest of the state?

NH Commissioner Barry Refuses To Meet With Manchester’s School Board

It seems as if Governor Hassan will not have town-hall meetings where parents can discuss their concerns with Common Core. Now her Commissioner of Education, Virginia Barry refuses toVirginia Barry (Refuses to Visit) letter to Manchester School Board 4-8-15 meet with our elected board members in a public meeting.

We want PUBLIC meetings on Common Core. We want our Governor and her appointed Commissioner to attend public meetings where we can voice our opinions. Why are they hiding from parents and now our elected board members?

Call Governor Hassan’s office (603)271-2121:

1) Ask her to sign SB101 which was passed by the NH House and Senate.
2) Ask her to start holding public town-halls so parents can start a dialogue with her on Common Core
3) Ask her to direct Commissioner Barry to meet with our local school board members publicly so parents can attend. Closed door/private meetings with our Superintendents or board members do not offer parents information that they should hear.

Common Core is being thrust on our schools and no one in the Hassan Administration wants to hear from parents. This is unacceptable.

Virginia Barry (Refuses to Visit) letter to Manchester School Board 4-8-15

What Is Going On Behind Closed Doors At The New Hampshire Dept. Of Education?

We encourage parents to read the full article below.  The New York Dept. of Ed is now engaged in encouraging school administrators to manipulate and lie to students.  

While this is a different scenario that should send shock waves to parents across the country, we’d like to remind everyone that our own NH Commissioner has regular PRIVATE meetings with NH Superintendents.   These private meetings are not open to the public so we cannot request notes or records.

While we are not suggesting the same kind of manipulation is taking place, it has concerned us for a long time that the Superintendent who is supposed to work for the local taxpayers, is now engaged in private and closed door meetings with the NH Commissioner of Education.

It is examples like the one below that makes us even more concerned about this lack of transparency on the part of the NH Dept. of Ed.

We’d also like to remind local school board members that the Superintendent works for THEM.   The local school board is accountable to the taxpayers.   It has been suggested by some that local school boards cut off the funding to Superintendents who attend these closed door meetings with the NH Commissioner.  We’d at the MINIMUM, suggest that the Superintendents report directly to the School Board during public meetings and report what is going on in these meetings.  There is NO reason the Superintendent cannot take notes and share this information publicly with the local board and community unless they have been told to keep the information in the meetings confidential.  IF that is the case, we have an even bigger problem in this state.

We call upon Governor Hassan to stop these closed door meetings with her Commissioner of Education and bring transparency back to the NH Dept. of Education.

New York State Field Tests: ‘Students Should Not Be Informed’ Of Connection To Standardized Exams

Posted: 05/28/2012 4:10 pm EDT Updated: 05/28/2012 4:12 pm EDT

A memo has recently surfaced in which the New York State Department of Education appears to encourage educators to mislead students about upcoming standardized field tests meant to “provide the data necessary to ensure the validity and reliability of the New York State Testing program.”

“Students should not be informed of the connection between these field tests and State assessments,” the memo reads. “The field tests should be described as brief tests of achievement in the subject.” (Read the document below.)

The memo is signed by Candace Shyer, interim executive of the state’s Education Department, and was sent to The Huffington Post by Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, a nonprofit organization that advocates for smaller class sizes.

Read more here