Education

Plymouth State Drops SAT And ACT Scores For Applicants

Aug 22, 2014

Students applying to Plymouth State University will no longer be required to submit SAT and ACT scores.

The University has decided to step away from the standardized tests, and put more emphasis on a student's high school GPA. Andrew Palumbo, Plymouth's Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, says the GPA is simply a better measure of how prepared a student is for college.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The president of Franklin Pierce University is resigning.

James Birge says he’ll step down next year, no later than June 15.

He’s been the head of the university in Rindge for six years, and is the school’s fourth president.

“I am proud of the accomplishments at Franklin Pierce and excited about its future because of these achievements,” Birge said. “As I reflected on these accomplishments and we begin to establish and implement additional changes at the University, I realized it is a good time to move on to allow new leadership to take on the new challenges.”

Plymouth State University

The president of Plymouth State University is stepping down.

Sara Jayne Steen has been president of the university for nine years, and says she will step down from the post in June of next year.

In a message to staff, Steen says this will allow her time for other academic pursuits and to travel with her husband.

Steen is also vice chair of the New Hampshire Higher Education Commission and on the executive committee of the New Hampshire College and University Council.

The University System Board will begin a national search for a new president this fall.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The end of the school year in Nashua marks the end of the line for an after school program that organizers say was vital for the city’s middle school students.

Baker Memorial Library
Flickr Creative Commons

The Dartmouth College alumna who is the creative force behind TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” returned to her alma mater to give Sunday’s commencement speech.  Shonda Rhimes spent much of her speech talking about the practical realities of daily life.  She also derided commencement speakers who tell students to dream big.

US Army Corp of Engineers / Flickr CC

There’s a database in New Hampshire, nestled in hard-drives in the Department of Education, with all sorts of information about student test scores, graduation rates, and achievement. It shows how poor kids do on tests compared to rich kids, and how minorities do compared to whites, and whether schools are improving on those tests.

Whenever the data in it is accessed, it’s totally anonymous; only a handful of employees at the DOE can match these test-scores with student names.

The president of the University of New Hampshire wants to hold the line on tuition costs for at least another two years.

NHPR Staff

Former Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, John Broderick, will step down as dean of the UNH law school.

Broderick will become the first executive director for the Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public policy, which opened last year.

The Rudman Center, which is part of the UNH law school, seeks to provide leadership training and foment commitment to public service.

  The week started with the news of Southern New Hampshire University’s new $10,000 bachelor’s degree program. Recent undergraduate enrollment numbers show the small, Manchester school is now equal in size to UNH in Durham, with a vast majority of its students online. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At a recent cookout behind the red-brick mill building that houses UNH Manchester, senior Derek Burkhardt describes what’s been an eight-year run to get his bachelor’s.

“I actually attended UNH Manchester right out of high school,” says Burkhardt. “But I took some time off in between school to save up some money to be able to afford school, but also to join AmeriCorps. So once I was done with that I came back to continue my education.”

Like many students here Burkhardt says he chose UNH Manchester because that’s where he lives.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Susy Struble was a 16-year-old high school student when, during a weekend visit to Dartmouth College, she was raped at an off-campus party.

Like many rape victims, Struble chose not to tell anyone about the assault, and two years later, she was back at Dartmouth as a student.

One night during her freshman year, she opened her door to a tall, sandy-haired man. Obviously drunk, he forced his way in, pushed Struble against the wall and tried to kiss her. Struble was able to fend off her attacker, who she realized was the same man who had raped her two years earlier.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If it seems like, these days, everyone is talking about STEM - that now common acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs - it's because they are.

In this animated two-way, we take a look at what the push for STEM means for the state - from our public university system, to the State House, and through the business community - and for students.

College Board / https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/trends-2010-tuition-discounting-institutional-aid-report.pdf

Rising tuition attracts a lot of headlines, but the amount that schools give out in financial aid is also on the rise.  Financial aid can make higher education more accessible to low-income students, but it can also serve as a tool to attract the types of students school want to attract, and to fill seats that might otherwise go empty. Lucy Lapovsky is an education consultant who has studied the question of how much students are actually paying for college and spoke to All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson. 

Some of the troubles plaguing higher education are hitting institutions a lot harder in New Hampshire. High public tuition? We have the highest. State aid to public universities? We have among the lowest. For many students, that means they're facing huge debts which will be difficult to repay. That reality is causing students and institutions to reevaluate.

Colleges See Summer As Potential Revenue Source

May 6, 2014
Todd Bookman / NHPR

The men of Dartmouth were treated to a heroes’ welcome each fall.

“October, 1947, and the campus is rejuvenated after the slow, sleepy quiescence of the summer weeks,” reads the stoic narrator of an old film reel. “The college town of Hanover throbs excitedly with new life.”

Hanover has been throbbing year-round since the 1970s, though, when Dartmouth became the last Ivy League to accept women.

@BillDuncan / Twitter

  Gov. Maggie Hassan's nomination of longtime education activist Bill Duncan to the New Hampshire Board of Education is drawing fire from supporters of charter schools and an education tax credit law.

Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley says Monday that Duncan can't serve as an unbiased administrator of programs he spent years trying to dismantle. Duncan is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the business tax credit that gives scholarships to students who attend private and religious schools.

Southern New Hampshire University is launching a new bachelor’s degree program that will cost students $10,000 in total.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Research at big universities is expensive, and the price tag is rising. At the same time securing money for research is getting harder as more and more academics are competing for research grants that are less and less generous. This raises a question: are universities that do research more likely to raise tuition.

Pigeonpie via Flickr Creative Commons

 

New Hampshire's overall high school graduation far exceeds the national average, but it ranks in the middle when it comes to low-income students.

Kyle Todesca, UNH

Senate lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant in-state tuition at University System of New Hampshire schools to children of undocumented immigrants.

NHPR Staff

 A program that allows businesses to claim an 85% tax credit for donations made to private school  scholarship organizations had its day before the State Supreme Court Wednesday.

A lower court ruled last year that it would be unconstitutional for the program to give scholarships to private schools, because the tax credits amount to public dollars.

The state’s seven community colleges will cut tuition by 5 percent next year.

Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear arguments today on whether it’s constitutional to give tax credits to businesses that donate to private scholarship funds. The program in question has been hamstrung by a lower court ruling.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The organizers of several charter schools opening this fall in New Hampshire say they’ve learned the hard way that finding a location is easier said than done.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Schools all around the state are currently working to “tweak” a set-of academic standards that have been adopted by nearly the entire country: the Common Core. The highest profile example of that tweaking is going on in Manchester, where critics of the standards claimed a political victory last fall when the city announced it would create its own standards. Reactions to the revisions in Manchester show that no set of standards is going to please everyone.

On Tuesday, the town of Hooksett will vote whether to approve a contract with Pinkerton Academy in Derry. If voters approve the deal, it could spell the end for the town’s century-long relationship with Manchester schools.


Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The House Education committee continued a hearing Thursday on legislation that would require New Hampshire to pull the plug on implementing the Common Core standards.

Flikr Creative Commons / Renator Ganoza

Fresh results from New England Common Assessment Program tests, or NECAP, are in. 

The New Hampshire Department of Education says student performance in math, reading and writing stayed essentially the same as last year.

The DOE says that while the percentage of students in the proficient or above level went up or down a few points in each category, the changes weren’t statistically significant.

Overall, 77% of students tested were proficient or above in reading. That’s down from 79% last year. 65% in math (down from 68%) and 58% percent in writing (up from 55%).

A ten year agreement between the Hooksett School Board and Pinkerton Academy in Derry still needs to be finalized by a town vote in March. But Hooksett eighth-graders are already choosing the Derry school over Manchester high schools for the next school year.


The administration of Governor Maggie Hassan has submitted brief in support of a Superior Court ruling that crippled a controversial Education tax credit program. The program gives tax breaks to businesses that donate to scholarship funds. The scholarships are then used to help students switch to a private school or homeschooling.

Last spring a judge ruled it was unconstitutional to use those funds to give scholarships to students going to religious schools. The New Hampshire Supreme Court is set to review that decision this spring.

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