NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown has spent this week digging into the Common Core Standards, which will roll out in New Hampshire schools next year. He joins us now to pull the camera back a bit, and talk about what the Common Core means in the big picture.
All week, NHPR Education reporter Sam Evans Brown has been looking at a massive transition underway the Granite State, a new set of school standards known as the Common Core. Educators nationwide have been shifting toward this new system. We’ll find out kind of discussions are taking place at our local schools among teachers, principals and students.
26 states are signed on the Smarter Balanced Test, which was created with funds from federal Race to the Top Grants. New Hampshire is a "governing member" meaning it has a say in policy decisions made on the tests.
With the new Common Core State Standards comes a new standardized test, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. New Hampshire schools will take it for the first time in the spring of 2015, and in many ways, it’s the new test that will determine how the Common Core is taught.
Mahesh Sharma, a math education consultant, works with a class of kindergartners in Meredith as teachers watch during a recent professional development day. Work like this is going on all over the state to get teachers ready for the Common Core
Next year is the deadline for New Hampshire schools to transition to the Common Core State Standards. This means a change in topics for different grades, and a change in how teachers teach. For some schools this will be a big change, but others are well on their way to adapting to the new academic standards.
At the Manchester Curriculum and Instruction Committee meeting last week, slightly more than a dozen concerned citizens turned out to voice their opposition to the district's adopting the Common Core. While activists opposed to the standards are dedicated, in New Hampshire it remains a fringe issue.
The Common Core State Standards, a set of goal posts for public school students that have been adopted by 45 states, are well on their way to being implemented in New Hampshire. But those same standards are at the center of a widening backlash in other states that hasn’t really caught on in New Hampshire.
Support and opposition to the Common Core does not break down cleanly along party lines. On the one hand, Florida’s former Republican governor Jeb Bush is a big supporter of the standards, as are many liberal politicians.
As this school year comes to a close, teachers are preparing for next fall, when a massive transition will begin. Starting next year, schools are expected to align their teaching to the Common Core State Standards. Those standards are a set of learning goals for public school students that have been adopted in 45 states and the District of Colombia. Released in 2010, they lay out what students should know when they finish each grade.
New Hampshire is among some forty states to adopt this more rigorous set of standards for math and language arts in public schools. But just as this bi-partisan effort becomes reality, the system is facing some backlash from both the right and left. We’ll find out more about Common Core and the challenges it faces getting off the ground.
As expected the state Department of Education today formally asked the federal government for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. The state's request is 96 pages long, it's a full document, but NHPR's Brady Carlson sat down with reporter Sam Evans-Brown talk about what it contains.
Brady Carlson: What does getting a waiver from No Child Left Behind actually mean?