Tag Archives: CompetencyBasedEd

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.



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!

Administrators need to do more listening: NO to federal control in grading

Competency Based Ed is similar to the failed Outcome Based Ed fad from the 90′s.
We all know that the federal agenda includes the dumbed down Common Core Standards and a return to the failed Outcome Based Ed Model of dumbed down workforce training.

Included in the Competency Based Ed model, schools have begun switching their grading to the Competency based grading system. Since we can see this happening all over New Hampshire and beyond, it’s easy to see this is coming from more federal intrusion into our local public schools. The feds want to control what your kids eat at lunch, who they share the restroom with, control academic standards and testing, and even the way schools grade their students.
Little is left for the local parents to control.

Competency-based grading caused havoc in Nashua high schools. 92% of students want to get rid of it. 83% of parents want it gone. Even 54% of teachers prefer the old grading system. There were 25% less A’s and 25% more F’s under this new grading system.

Competency-based grading is the stepping stone to the next State reform called PACE, which eliminates local control under the pretense of reducing testing and giving districts more control.

When was the last State mandate that actually gave district more control over education?

It’s important to remember that most of the competencies are “non-academic” skills. These skills are difficult if not impossible to grade objectively. For instance, if a child gets 2+2=4 correct on a test, that’s an objective grade. If that same student is graded on their attitudes towards global warming or if they can “collaborate” that is graded in a more subjective way.

This new grading system means the grades may not reflect their academic knowledge but instead subjectively assess their attitudes, beliefs, values, dispositions, etc.

It’s nice to see a letter instructing the administrators in Nashua to start listening to parents. Our hope is that at some point, they will actually take the advice they’ve been given.


Sunday, May 8, 2016
Administrators need to do more listening
Letter to the Editor
Nashua school administrators have a history of leaving parents, students and teachers out of the process when setting important initiatives.

Competency-based grading was approved because board members were told that the grading system was mandatory. It wasn’t mandatory, but the policy was implemented. There were many complaints at the high school from students, parents, and teachers. The number of students failing classes has increased by 25 percent.

The concerns of stakeholders were ignored. After dragging their feet for months, administration finally sent out a survey to parents, students and teachers. The result of the survey revealed overwhelmingly that stakeholders wanted to return to the traditional grading system. Administration is again choosing to ignore the community and to move ahead with this flawed grading system.

School administrators routinely ignore stakeholders. Five years ago, parents and students expressed concern about block scheduling, specifically the lack of continuity for foreign language, math and science courses. Administrators offered skinny classes, but then claimed no students signed up. They never offered skinny classes again. A simple option would be to hold even and odd class days. Block scheduling is maintained, but students get the continuity needed for foreign language, math and science. That solves the problem and costs nothing.

Administrators complain about the lack of parental involvement. Perhaps parents realize their opinions aren’t welcome. If administrators know best, why is Nashua South ranked 76th out of 77 in the state?

Perhaps administrators should stop talking and start listening. Our students would be better served.

Tracy Pappas


EXAMPLE: Manchester’s Dumbed Down 21st Century Skills

Well that didn’t take us long. We posted this a few days ago, exposing the 21st Century Skills Fad now being implemented in the Manchester School District.

Today we received a copy of an assignment given to students in an upper level Junior English class.
Look at the kind of work your child will be doing!! This is now considered 21st Century Skills!!

21st Century learning Manchester

We warned you that a shift to Outcome Based Learning (now called 21st Century Skills or Competency Based Learning) would dumb down your child’s classroom and here is the proof.

MANCHESTER RESIDENTS: Here is a link to your elected school board members: http://bosc.mansd.org
Send them this post: http://stopcommoncorenh.org/sccnh/2015/09/01/manchester-schools-fall-for-the-21st-century-skills-fad/
and this new post and tell them you expect more for your tax dollars and for your children.

The Problems With Competency Based Ed. in NH Schools

Recently there was a brief discussion on a social media web site by NEW HAMPSHIRE parents and a NEW HAMPSHIRE teacher addressing the problems with Competency Based Ed. (CBE)

CBE has is another part of the Obama redesign in public education. Like the Common Core Standards, CBE is included in the federal reform. (SEE: Strategically use learning time in more meaningful ways, which could include effective application of technology, redesigning school calendars, and competency-based progression.)

We’ve also posted information that CBE is just another rehashing of the failed Outcome Based Education model that’s been tried in other states and proved to be a fad that never improved academic achievement. (SEE links below)

You can also read a detailed summary on how CBE is failing in Maine by one of their state school board members here: http://nhfamiliesforeducation.org/content/maine-state-board-education-member-speaks-out-against-competency-based-education

Or read another post by a Rochester NH School Board member who explains the failures she’s seen in her district with CBE: http://www.girardatlarge.com/2014/01/testimony-rochester-school-board-member-susan-oconnor/

Once again we call attention to the NH Dept. of Ed under Governor Hassan FOLLOWING the Federal reforms rather than LEADING New Hampshire to academic excellence.

Below is a discussion between a couple of parents and a teacher. We’ve elected to remove their last names in order to respect their privacy….

Tanya: If there is one thing in the whole “competency” grading is that from a parents perspective..we see that our child received a “C” for competent..ok great! BUT how “competent” is my child? How many Cs in a particular area means they are fully competent and have basically “mastered” this ? How many NYCs can they get to still be considered “competent” in a particular area? And lets focus on this aspect for a minute…Competent means-”acceptable and satisfactory, though not outstanding” . Yet the goal of this is to have the children become competent..isn’t it??? Now lets look at what “Not Yet Competent” really means (I went with incompetent because the two are one in the same)- “not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. synonyms: inept, unskillful, unskilled, inexpert, amateurish, unprofessional, bungling, blundering, clumsy, inadequate, substandard, inferior, ineffective, deficient, inefficient, ineffectual, wanting, lacking, leaving much to be desired”. This is what kids are being told they are when they are struggling to learn something..they are “inept or deficient”. I am not sure about any of you, but I don’t find this appropriate!! I grew up receiving letter grades and I feel they are much more informative for parents and the children.

Tom: The other thing that I find disturbing about “Competencies” is that the teachers seem to stop at “Competent.” The teachers neither look for not encourage the students to do work above the “Competent” level. My grandkids come home all pleased that they are “Competent” but when asked if there is anything above that grade there is confusion – the only goal is to be “Competent.”

TEACHER: It could be because they run out of time to get them above competent. They reach competent and it’s time to move onto the next competency. There’s never enough time in public education. Even esl kids fresh off the boat are expected to have mastered English after one year even though the research says 7-10 years is needed for academic language alone though the process can be accelerated with sound teaching methods and support. It’s unrealistical. That is, what’s being asked of your children is.

Tom: My grandkids spend most of their school days waiting for the rest of the class to “catch up.” They get the concepts right away, then wait for the rest of the class to also become “Competent.” (This is something that we were assured would NEVER happen under competencies – that advanced learners would be able to move right along once they grasped a concept.) They NEVER have homework because outside assignments are completed in class while waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. Yet, despite their quick understanding of subject matter, they are rarely graded at anything beyond “Competent.”

TEACHER: That’s another problem. Those who are ready to move on have to wait. They should be given enrichment activities to challenge them more. I taught grades 1-2 this past year and balancing it all was a constant struggle. I had two major behavior issues that were violent and 20 kids. So I was either deescalating something, almost getting hit myself or trying to get the ones behind to catch up. I agree with you. Their homework should be just that. It’s a failing system which is why I am going to start at a boarding school because I’ve had enough.

The failed Outcome Based Model is again, holding kids back who could be advancing and creating more problems in the classroom. This model is a dumbed down workforce training model that parents had to deal with in the 90′s and fought against: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2001/04/the-new-definition-of-standards-in-american-education

Education reform is about rehashing failed fads and renaming them so parents will not know what they are doing to their children.

DEMAND BETTER. Contact your legislators and tell them NO MORE EXPERIMENTING ON MY KIDS!

More on the failures of Competency Based ed:





Competency Based Ed in NH Schools the Dumbing Down Explained

As Competency Based Education (Outcome Based Ed) is forced on our public schools in New Hampshire, it helps to know what a traditional classroom looked like and what the Outcome Based Classroom looks like.

Whether it’s called Competency Based Ed, Standards Based Ed, Proficiency Based Ed, it’s all the same. It’s OUTCOME BASED ED. Yes the failed fad from the 90′s is back and part of the redesign in public education coming from the U.S. Department of Education and being facilitated by Governor Hassan.

Parents do NOT MISS THIS:


Common Core & Competency Based Ed Results in Behavior Change Without Protest

Common Core Results in Behavior Change Without Protest:
WHY IS the Smarter Balanced Assessment (computer adaptive) DANGEROUS?
Why are the new PACE Assessments DANGEROUS?
Why is Competency Based Ed (aka…Outcome Based Ed) DANGEROUS?

Why is the State of NH under Governor Hassan now fully implementing all of this in NH directly from the Obama Agenda?

Peg Luksik in this SHORT video explains why.
One of the BEST/short videos you will want to watch.