Education

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New Hampshire has missed out on another round funding in the federal education grant program Race to the Top. The state was hoping for $37.5 million dollars to improve pre-k and early childhood education programs.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Many schools in New Hampshire enhanced their security in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. a year ago.

Those new measures come at a big cost to school districts.

And they’re forcing school officials to decide what type of security works for their buildings and their communities.

Even the head of Nashua’s school district needs clearance before he’s allowed into any of the city’s 17 schools.

“Hi, Mr. Conrad. Left door,” the secretary inside Elm Street Middle School says over the intercom.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Most of today’s students and their parents are used to report cards based on the letters A through F. But a new grading system is taking root in schools across the country that seeks to give parents a lot more information. Standards based grading breaks classes down to specific skills students have mastered.

A is good, F is bad. But what about E, M, IP, and LP?

Those are the grades that kids in Sanborn High School in Kingston get. They stand for exceeding, meeting, in-progress, and limited progress.

The Department of Revenue Administration has released a memo clarifying the rules surrounding a controversial education tax credit scholarship. The memo makes clear that the state’s largest scholarship organization will have to change how it operates next year.

The Network for Educational Opportunity will have to give 70 percent of its scholarships to individual public school students. This year it’s giving 70 percent of the funds to just 13 public school students. That’s the lion’s share of the funds going to just 12.6 percent of scholarship recipients.

University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire has a new logo.

The state’s largest public four-year university revealed its new look at the men’s hockey game Saturday night.

In a press release, UNH described it as a “crisp, contemporary shield” that “strongly displays ‘NH’.”

The logo will be used by the University’s three campuses in Durham, Manchester and Concord, and for the university’s athletics programs.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

A report released this week by the Project on Student Debt shows average student debt among New Hampshire’s college graduates increased slightly last year.

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New Hampshire fourth- and eighth-grade students continue to rank among the nation’s best in math and reading.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The state adopted the Common Core Standards in 2010 with little controversy at the time. But you wouldn’t know that by the tone of a legislative forum Tuesday morning.  The controversy over the Common Core State Standards has made its way to the New Hampshire legislature. This session lawmakers will be asked to consider pulling the plug on the state’s new educational goalposts.

The hall was packed with conservative activists who called the forum one-sided.

New Hampshire lawmakers are going to learn more about the Common Core State Standards Tuesday. A forum on the education reform comes as the educational standards have increasingly become a flash point for local education activists.

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Diane Ravitch, one of the nation's loudest voices against efforts by recent presidents to reform American education, says teachers should be able to make changes to the new Common Core State Standards that New Hampshire schools are implementing now.

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Dartmouth College officials say technical problems with the Common Application are prompting them to postpone the deadline for early admissions applications by one week.

The deadline has been changed from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.

Student newspaper The Dartmouth reports reports the Admissions Office received calls from concerned students, counselors and students who were having trouble creating accounts to utilize the Common Application software.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  The Manchester School Board has voted to modify a new set of state-wide education standards to make them more rigorous.

The vote was in response to pressure from critics of the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted in 45 states.

The Manchester School District will create something called the “Manchester Academic Standards.” However, the Common Core standards will still form the foundation for the district’s new goalposts.

Every year more than one million students fail to graduate from high school on time. But we rarely explore what happens next. What are these students’ lives like 10, 20, even 40 years after they leave the classroom? Do they ever get a second chance?

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Pinkerton Academy social studies teacher Joe Lee is the New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

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Pinkerton Academy in Derry is considering a unified dress code, which would require students to wear business casual attire.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The State Department of Education recognized 38 high performing New Hampshire schools Tuesday. The schools were highlighted for improved test scores, and innovative practices.

UNH Dives In To Marine Science

Sep 9, 2013
Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire has started a new school of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, focusing on newer topics such as adaptations to climate change and coastal planning, in addition to marine biology and oceanography.

The school is the first interdisciplinary one at UNH and will provide graduate and undergraduate courses.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire officials are working on an application for a federal Race to the Top Grant for Early Childhood Education. If the state is selected in this round, it could receive up to $37.5 million dollars to support initiatives to improve childcare and preschool programs all over the state. While there is growing interest in pre-k issues the challenges standing in the way of better or more affordable childcare are daunting.

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Another school year gets underway this week for most students across the Granite State.

Governor Maggie Hassan will greet students at Nashua High School South Tuesday morning.

Later in the day, Hassan will do the same for students at Pleasant Street Elementary School in Laconia.

This year marks a transition for New Hampshire schools to what are referred to as the Common Core State Standards.

This year, schools are expected to align their teaching to the Common Core, a set of learning goals for public school students.

Federal sequester cuts are starting to sting for the state’s largest Head Start program. Southern New Hampshire Services has received a grant that is about 5 percent smaller than last years. SNHS provides pre-k programs for low-income families in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced a grant of $5.3 million on Wednesday, or about $300,000 less than last year.

The state Board of Education has given the green light for three new charter schools to open in New Hampshire.

Their approval was made possible after the Legislature set aside $3.4 million in the state budget for new charter schools.

The Gate City Charter School for the Arts was one of the schools to get approval from the board at a meeting on Thursday.

The school is planned for Nashua and will offer an arts-focused curriculum, starting with grades K through 4. It will open next fall.

Manchester School District

The new school superintendent in Manchester says a recent audit taking the school district to task in several areas should be used as a blueprint to help address those is

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  Last week New Hampshire at long last was granted a waiver from the Bush-era education reform law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The federal government first announced the waivers in 2011 because of congressional inaction to reform No Child Left Behind. New Hampshire was the 39th state to be granted one.

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Interest rates on newly issued subsidized Stafford loans doubled on Monday.

The New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation has been working with families to help them understand what that means when planning for college.

As of July 1, the interest rate jumps from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Tara Payne is vice president of the Center for College Planning.

She says her concern is that students who qualify for subsidized federal loans are the ones with the greatest need.

Kyle Todesca, UNH

The University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees voted Friday to freeze tuition for in-state students for the next two years.

The move comes after lawmakers agreed to substantially restore funding cuts made to the system in the last budget.

The tuition freeze for in-state students marks the first time in 25 years the cost of attending University System of New Hampshire schools will not rise.

After the Legislature cut support for higher education in half in the last budget, tuition rose by 9 percent in 2011 and by another 6 percent last year.

Tuition at New Hampshire’s seven community colleges will remain frozen for the next academic school year.

The decision comes after lawmakers signed off on a state budget that fully restores deep cuts made to the system in the last budget.

Chancellor Ross Gittell says the restoration of funding allows the community college system to hold the line on tuition for the upcoming school year.

He says it will also be used to help align education and training programs with the needs of businesses.

The U.S. Department of Education has approved New Hampshire’s application for a waiver from certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan informed state officials today that their application had been accepted.

The waiver frees the state from ten different sections of the controversial education law, which calls for universal math and English proficiency by 2014.

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New Hampshire’s new Education Tax Credit Program has been around for all of six months, and so far, it’s had a rough time.

Last week a superior court ruled the program can’t give scholarships to religious schools But this is just the latest difficulty for the program.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The US department of education announced another round of waivers from the controversial federal education policy, No Child Left Behind, and once again New Hampshire’s application for a waiver has been passed over.

New Hampshire Education officials say that they believe the waiver will be granted imminently.   

It has been ten months since New Hampshire applied for flexibility from the requirements of No Child Left Behind, and several rounds of waivers for other states have been approved since the application was submitted.

The search for a new superintendent of the Manchester School District is expected to wrap up this weekend.

The search committee announced the names of three finalists for the job this week.

Two – Debra Livingston and Maureen Ward – are from New Hampshire.

Livingston is the superintendent of the Fall Mountain Regional School District, which covers several towns in the southwestern part of the state.

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