Education

Education
5:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Volunteer Surrogate Parents Fill Role For Special Needs Students

Linda Potter conducts a training session for the educational surrogate program.
Michael Brindley/NHPR

Children with special needs are required to have someone making critical decisions about what’s in the best interest of their education. But some children have no one to fill that role.

That’s where New Hampshire’s educational surrogate program comes in. But it’s need of more volunteers to fill gaps in some parts of the state.

Linda Potter always starts her training sessions with a lesson in perception.

“Tell me what you see,” she asks the group.

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Education
5:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Charter Schools Grow Despite Political Headwinds

Despite a moratorium on new schools in 2007, enrollment in charter schools has grown steadily since state authorized schools were allowed in 2003
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / Data: Department of Education

Today the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a budget that doesn’t fund $2.5 million for new charter schools. If that policy stands it would be mean a de facto, two-year moratorium on charter schools. It’s a move that was met with surprise and confusion by charter school advocates. But to understand the decision takes knowing something about the long, political history of charter schools.

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Education
5:17 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'Blizzard Bags' Yet To Catch On Among Most New Hampshire School Districts

A video on the Governor Wentworth School District website explains to students and parents what a blizzard bag day is.
Credit Governor Wentworth School District

A snow day isn’t what it used to be for some students in the Granite State. Many New Hampshire schools are adopting what are known as blizzard bag days.

The concept has been popular among the schools that use it, but the program has yet to take off statewide.

You're 8 years old, and you're excited that there's a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. Then you get a phone message.

“Due to inclement weather and treacherous road conditions, school is canceled for all Governor Wentworth Schools.”

You start thinking snow day. But then...

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Education
4:33 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

As N.H. Drops GED, Students Urged To Complete Program

Itziury Zamora is a student at the Nashua Adult Learning Center and is taking her GED.
Credit Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

This week, New Hampshire became the third state in the country to announce it will no longer use GED Testing Services for its high school equivalency exams.

Beginning in 2014 , the state is moving to Educational Testing Service, also known as ETS.

And instructors are urging the more than 1,400 adult learners in the state to finish their GED exams before the end of the year.

Otherwise, they’ll have to face starting over with a new test that will be harder to pass.

GED has been the brand name for high school certifications for almost 70 years.

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Education
6:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Nashua Students Try Composting For Battery Power

In this photo: Meghan Dezurick, Priyanka Satpute, Christopher Jones and Madeline Doctor in the greenhouse/lab at Nashua North. Not pictured: Theresa Inzerillo and Craig Hammond.
Credit Sheryl Rich-Kern

A team of Nashua High School students is trying to create a bacteria-powered battery that runs off a composter. The team is one of 16 around the country that received up to 10-thousand-dollars in seed money from the Lemelson-MIT Program.

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Education
10:01 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Major Texas Research Institute Joins With UNH Space And Ocean Science Program

Credit UNH EOS

Monday marks the beginning of a collaboration between UNH’s space and earth research team, and the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

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Education
12:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Funding Fix For Charters Headed Toward Finish Line

Credit Redjar / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that would end what has been called a moratorium on new charter schools. The bill still has a way to go before it is law, but charters in the pipeline could still open in time for next school year.

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Education
5:09 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Gov. Hassan Nominates N.H. Education Commissioner To Second Term

Virginia Barry
Credit N.H. Department of Education

Governor Maggie Hassan plans to nominate Virginia Barry for a second term as the state’s commissioner of education.

Hassan will present Barry’s nomination to the Executive Council on Wednesday. The reappointment to a second four-year term is subject to the council’s approval.

Barry took over as the state’s education chief in 2009. Prior to that, she was a professor at Plymouth State University. She is also a former elementary school teacher and principal.

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Education
4:33 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Senate Hears Bill To Restore Higher Ed Funding

The Senate heard arguments Tuesday for a bill that would send more than $200 million to higher education.


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Education
6:48 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

N.H. House Votes To Repeal School Choice Tax Credit

Credit Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted, 188 to 151, to repeal the Education Tax Credit that took effect less than two months ago. The law grants an 85% tax credit to businesses that donate to scholarship organizations, which give the money to students going to a private school, an out-of-district public school, or home school.

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Education
10:28 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Manchester Businesses Fund Virtual Classrooms

Credit Sheryl Rich-Kern

At the start of this spring semester, Manchester’s three high schools are launching two new initiatives around computer-based learning.

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Education
10:36 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Education Tax Credit Supporters Turn Out Against Repeal

Dominique Vasquez-Vanasse stands with her two sons at a press conference. Later, she'll testify before the Ways and Means Committee in support of an education tax credit.
Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would repeal the School Choice Scholarship Act, which passed last year. The act allows businesses to receive a tax credit when they donate scholarship money to private schools.

Many of the same arguments that were heard last session came up again this time, as lawmakers debated whether or not a tax credit for businesses that fund private and even religious schools is wise – or even constitutional.

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Education
5:21 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Keene, N.H., Schools To Have Police Visits

The police department and school district in Keene, N.H., are starting a program to have police officers visit the schools on a random, but daily, basis as part of their regular patrols.

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Education
2:33 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Charter School Funding Fix Slipped Through The Cracks

New Charter schools hoping to open next fall will likely have to wait a while longer before they can submit their applications to the state. A proposal to fix the charter school funding problem was delayed in the legislative shuffle.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the Department of Education can’t approve any new charter schools until a budget has been passed. That means a number of schools that were hoping to open in the fall, are hanging in limbo: unsure if they’ll have time to apply

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Education
4:53 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Days After Law Takes Effect, Groups Challenge School Choice Law

Credit Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

Civil liberties groups have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of New Hampshire’s Tax Credit Scholarship law. The ACLU has teamed up with Americans United for Separation of Church and State to for the complaint.

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Education
12:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

On The Road To Better Teacher Evaluations

Students at the Lyme School play Twister in gym class. The Lyme School is on the forefront of designing a comprehensive teacher evaluation system in the Granite State, though it is still in a pilot phase.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The Department of Education is set to release the culmination of three years of work. It’s a model system of how the DOE recommends schools should evaluate their teachers. New Hampshire schools are free to do what they will with those recommendations… for now.

For starters, why do teacher evaluations matter?

New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry has put improving the state’s public school teachers at the center of her time in the office, and she has a ready answer to that question.

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Education
6:30 am
Sat December 29, 2012

School Choice Tax Credits: Scrap Or Expand?

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Kawwsu29

On January 1st businesses can start getting tax breaks for donating to organizations that give public school students money toward going to a private school. But before that law has even taken effect, there are proposals to change it.

The business tax credit scholarship law was never popular with Democrats, who called it a back-door school vouchers measure. Governor-elect Maggie Hassan has said that she would try to repeal it, and a Manchester Representative, Peter Sullivan, will file a bill that would do just that.

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Education
4:11 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

SNHU Online Learning Program Dispenses With Grades And Credit Hours

SNHU's online College for America is getting attention around the country as a model for expanding access to higher eduction.
Credit Flikr Creative Commons / rex libris

Online courses in higher education have been around for decades. Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester has been offering online courses since 1996.

Now the university is piloting a new online model — one that dispenses with courses, grades and credit hours. College for America is a low-cost, nontraditional approach that's getting a lot of attention. And it may be the first of its kind to get federal approval by the Department of Education.

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Education
6:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Online Petition Pushes For Transgender Policy In Nashua

An online petition asks the Nashua school district to establish anti-discrimination policies for transgender students.

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Education
2:28 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Dartmouth College Names Alum Philip Hanlon As New President

Credit Dartmouth College

The Dartmouth College Board of Trustees has elected alum Philip Hanlon as the school's new president.

Hanlon, 57, is currently provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, where he is also the Donald J. Lewis Professor of Mathematics. Hanlon, a 1977 Dartmouth graduate, will be the college's 18th president.

Hanlon will take office on July 1. He succeeds Jim Yong Kim, who left the college in April to serve as president of the World Bank.

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Education
5:41 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Businesses To Educators: More STEM Grads Now

Governor Jon Lynch, Jeremy Hitchcock of DYN, Erica Johnson of UNH's Interoperability Laboratory (IOL), and Joe Morone of Albany International spoke before the STEM Forum
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Higher Education officials and Business leaders gathered for a forum today on how to increase the number of New Hampshire STEM graduates – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But while it was Community Colleges and Universities talking about the issue today, the lack of interest in STEM is a problem at every level of the American education system.

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Education
11:41 am
Tue November 27, 2012

N.H. Conference Tackles Need For More Tech Graduates

Representatives of New Hampshire’s community colleges, public universities and business community are gathering in Manchester Tuesday to discuss how to increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM graduates in New Hampshire.

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Education
5:59 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

University System Asks Budget Writers For $100 Million

Credit Kyle Todesca, UNH

The University System of New Hampshire is asking lawmakers for $100 million dollars in annual state funding.

That’s more than twice what they were given in the previous budget.

Heads of the various state departments, and the presidents of the state’s universities went before budget writers today to present their initial requests for state funds.

Chancellor of the University System, Ed McKay, says he is cautiously optimistic that governor elect Maggie Hassan will make restoring the cuts from the last budget a priority.

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Education
12:13 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

N.H. Schools Stocking Their Virtual Shelves With E-books

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Alexandre Lemieux

E-books are now selling more copies than hardbound, print books, and the average public library e-book collection has expanded by 55 percent in 2010 and 75 percent in 2011.

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Education
5:59 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Lawmakers Approve Extra Charter School Funding

For the past few months a number of proposed charter schools in New Hampshire have been in a sort of limbo, unable to formally apply to the state because of funding concerns in the Board of Education. Today the legislative fiscal committee took a step that might move the issue forward.

Brady Carlson: So Sam, for folks who haven’t been paying attention, bring us up to speed on the charter school situation.

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Education
10:33 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Creating "Cohorts" To Support New Teachers

Teacher Inge Thomas and her chemistry students.
Sheryl Rich-Kern

In New Hampshire, a statewide task force on effective teaching is publishing new guidelines to improve the quality of teaching.  One issue that’s getting a closer look is teacher mentoring programs.  In Nashua, one mentoring program works to groom better teachers and keep them in the classroom for years to come.

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Education
8:06 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Charter School Advocates Mob State Board Of Ed. Meeting

Delta Dental CEO and Chairman of the State Board of Education Tom Raffio has found himself in the middle of the kerfluffle surrounding charter school applications
Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Charter School advocates and organizers packed the room for today’s meeting of the State Board of Education, to ask them rescind the moratorium on New Charter school approvals.

Several of the schools whose applications were denied because of a state budget shortfall were on hand, saying the moratorium was poorly timed.

Schools like the Gate City Charter say that this will keep them from opening on time.

Cevasco: My name is Karin Cevasco, and we are here to compel you to accept our application.

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Education
4:33 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

UNH President Highlights Push For Restored Funding

Mike Ross / UNH Photographic Services

UNH President Mark Huddleston delivered his State of the University address, Thursday. He used the speech to reiterate his call to restore the cuts to the State University funding.

In exchange for restoring the state’s nearly $50 million dollar cut from the university system Huddleston again pledged to freeze tuition for two years and increase student grants and scholarships to students.

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Education
6:11 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Attorney General's Office: No New Charter Schools Without Legislative Approval

flikr Creative Commons / hdes.copeland

Last month New Hampshire Charter Schools in development got some very bad news: the board of education voted that they would no longer be approving new applications. Their reason: the state is all out of funding for such schools.

Charter school advocates blasted the decision, saying it made no sense, because the new schools would fall under next biennium’s budget. Wednesday the Attorney General’s office told lawmakers if they want to get money to those schools, they’ll have to change the laws.

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Education
5:38 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Manchester Fights To Keep Students From Hooksett, Candia

Manchester Superintendent Thomas Brennan and SAU 15 Superintendent Charles "Phil" Littlefield at the Hooksett School Board meeting on Tuesday
Cawley Middle School media

Manchester school officials dealing with a teacher shortage and overcrowded classrooms may soon face the loss of high school students from neighboring towns.

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