Education

Tomorrow, eleventh graders in New Hampshire’s public schools will take the SAT as a statewide assessment for the first time.

Last year the Executive Council approved a request from the state Department of Education to use the SAT as the statewide assessment for eleventh graders. That means eleventh graders in public and charter schools will take the SAT during the school day, free of charge.

Previously, students who wanted to take the SAT did so outside of the normal school day and had to pay a fee of around $50 dollars.

Ted Siefer / NHPR

Next month, residents of Candia will vote whether to pull their high schoolers out of the Manchester school district and send them instead to Pinkerton Academy in Derry. If the agreement goes through, Candia would be the last town in the greater Manchester area to remove its students from the city’s school district – the largest in New Hampshire.

Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

  Lawmakers in Concord yesterday killed a bill that would provide money for full-day kindergarten programs in the state. The vote of 157-200 was along party lines.

Currently, the state provides adequacy funding for half-day kindergarten programs only. While the bill would not have required districts to offer full-day programs, it would have provided additional state dollars to those districts that already provide them.

Sponsors of the bill argue the state should fund kindergarten at the same level as other grades.

Opponents of the bill cited cost.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

  Colleges and universities are increasingly relying on adjunct professors. In New Hampshire, nearly 60% of college teaching positions are filled by part-time, adjunct faculty.  But increasingly, adjuncts are complaining that low pay and poor working conditions are making the job difficult to keep.

Mic Wernej via Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire has one of the best high school graduation rates in the country, according to statistics collected from the U.S. Education Department.

New Hampshire's rate for the 2013-2014 school year is 88.1 percent, higher than the national rate at 82 percent.

Across the country, Iowa had the highest graduation rate, at 90 percent; followed by Nebraska at 89.7 percent; New Jersey at 88.6 percent, and Texas at 88.3 percent. New Hampshire came next.

The District of Columbia had the lowest, with a 61 percent graduation rate.

  It's been eight years since No Child Left Behind expired and congress failed to reauthorize it, but today both of New Hampshire's senators were among the 85 who voted to overhaul the federal government's controversial education law. 

James F Clay/FLICKR

A bill that would mandate education on drugs and alcohol in schools is likely to be fast tracked once lawmakers return to Concord in January.

A New Hampshire school district planning committee is set to vote on whether it will try to withdraw from its current district and form its own.

Cornish voters in 2014 approved the creation of a study committee to examine how the school district could better control its budget and address the school's dwindling population.

The committee decided in November that the best path would be to withdraw from SAU No. 6 and form a single school district. The plan would allow Cornish to have one school board, budget and audit.

Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000?

Nov 19, 2015

We're brought up to believe our teachers are modern-day saints.

Just look at how we portray them in the movies and on TV. From Dead Poets Society's iconic Mr. Keating to resourceful LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, we reinforce time and again that teaching is a noble calling.

These teachers are heroes, we're told. It's hard to imagine them even thinking about money.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

New Hampshire’s scores on the latest federally mandated standardized test – the Smarter Balanced – were released Thursday.

The headline: Fewer than half of the state’s students were judged to be meeting grade level benchmarks in math, though they are doing somewhat better in English.

biologycorner / Flickr Creative Commons

The results of a new standardized test are out and the headlines are fairly bleak.  The results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, released Thursday, show that across the board, 58 percent of New Hampshire students scored “proficient” or better in reading, and in math the picture is even worse: only 46 percent made the cut.

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

Dartmouth College is beginning its transition to a new residential model designed to provide students with more continuity when living on campus and greater interaction with faculty beyond the classroom. The move to a residential college system was among the changes President Philip Hanlon announced in January to address problems such as high-risk drinking, sexual assault and a lack of inclusion.

 

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has asked a judge to bar the Croydon School Board from using tax money to pay for some students' tuition at private schools.

The complaint asks for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Croydon. Officials gave the board until Sept. 28 to stop using public funds— more than $32,000 —to pay for four students studying this year at the Newport Montessori School.

Croydon's one school goes up through the fourth grade. Parents then have school choice, with most choosing Newport public schools.

When the Department of Education released its latest round of state-level reading and math scores this week, it was cause for cheer in New Hampshire. The state ranked in the top two or three states in every category and grade-level tests.

Those kind of high marks have been common in New Hampshire for years. But a recent report suggests the state’s status as one of the nation’s top test-takers should come down a few notches. 

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

The latest batch of national assessment tests shows New Hampshire students remaining among the highest achievers in math and reading.

The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress shows the average scores for reading in New Hampshire holding steady compared to 2013 for both fourth graders and eighth graders. For the younger group, only one state had a higher average score than New Hampshire. For eighth graders, New Hampshire was tied with four other states at the top of the list.

Cross your fingers.

Congress is trying to do something it was supposed to do back in 2007: agree on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It's not controversial to say the law is in desperate need of an update.

Tuition will stay the same this year for community college students in New Hampshire.

System trustees anticipated the freeze, but couldn’t finalize it until the state budget went through last month.

File Photo

Students who graduate from Great Bay Community College with an Associates’ Degree can now transfer up to 63 credits toward their bachelor’s degree at the University of New England, in Biddeford, Maine.

The partnership was initiated by Great Bay, after administrators noticed an increasing number of students transferring to UNE’s Physicians’ Assistant track, which ultimately graduates students with a masters’ degree.

Now, the new transfer agreement includes more than 20 programs at UNE, including in oceanography and elementary education.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

New Hampshire has lost out on a federal grant that would have helped create more charter schools in the state.

The state Department of Education had applied for a $5.4 million, five-year grant.

The state was told Monday it was not one of the eight states selected by the US Department of Education to receive new grants.

Ron Turiello's daughter, Grace, seemed unusually alert even as a newborn.

At 7 months or so, she showed an interest in categorizing objects: She'd take a drawing of an elephant in a picture book, say, and match it to a stuffed elephant and a realistic plastic elephant.

At 5 or 6 years old, when snorkeling with her family in Hawaii, she identified a passing fish correctly as a Heller's barracuda, then added, "Where are the rest? They usually travel in schools."

Indiana Public Media via Flickr Creative Commons

The chair of the Croydon School Board says the board is prepared to go to court over a school choice dispute with the state.

The attorney general’s office has given the board until Monday to stop using taxpayer money to send a small group of students to a private school, which the state says is illegal.

Board chair Jody Underwood tells NHPR's Morning Edition there are no plans to stop the practice, which she argues is allowed under state law.

MattBritt00 via Flickr Creative Commons

Dartmouth College has released the results of a major survey which finds that more than 1 in 4 female undergraduates at the school have been victims of some sort of unwanted sexual encounter.

Colby-Sawyer College

The president of Colby-Sawyer College plans to step down next year.

Thomas C. Galligan announced this week that he will leave the job at the end of June, when he’ll wrap up his tenth year at the helm of the small New London college.

polariseducationalfoundation.org

New Hampshire is running out of federal money that helps new charter schools with start-up costs.

The state Department of Education has about $600,000 left in its federal start-up grant for new charter schools.

“That is about one charter school. Depending on the size of the school, it could be two,” says Caitlin Davis with the DOE.

meridiannh.com

When students in Manchester return to school Wednesday, their classrooms may look a little different.

That’s because teachers there say they won’t be bringing anything into the classroom they purchased on their own, due to the city’s ongoing contract dispute.

Mayor Ted Gatsas recently vetoed a new teachers contract, which means this will be the third year in a row educators will be working without a raise.

mas-concorp.com

As a new school year gets underway, more New Hampshire high schools are looking for ways to help students dealing with mental health issues.

Exeter High School is introducing new mental health services this year, in response to a rise in students dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety.

Jim Tremblay, principal of Exeter High School, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about the program.

When did you realize this was something the school needed to do?

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

Homeschooling continues to gain in popularity across the country, and by most accounts, here in the Granite State, as well.

From 2002 to 2012, the number of homeschooled children in the state jumped by nearly 30 percent.

But tracking how many children are being homeschooled in New Hampshire now is easier said than done.

That’s because parents are no longer required to file annual notifications of intent to homeschool.

Charlotte Albright/Vermont Public Radio

The recently-closed Lebanon College will reopen next year as a branch of River Valley Community College.

Officials will gather Tuesday afternoon for a press conference to formally announce the school’s reopening.

This comes a year after the small private college announced it was shutting down immediately due to declining enrollment and years of financial struggles.

The college’s reopening was made possible in part by a $1.6 million loan from the US Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Plymouth State University’s new president has been on the job for a few weeks now, after officially taking over last month.

Donald Birx comes to higher education in the Granite State at a time when college affordability is a hot topic on the New Hampshire primary campaign trail.

He joined NHPR’s morning Edition.

The Hechinger Report

Here at State of Democracy, we love a good graphic. Maps, charts, tables -- any illustration that displays lots of data in a clear, informative manner earns a gold star from us. Here's one recent example that caught our eye: a map showing the graduation rate for nearly every school district in the United States in 2013.

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