Education

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A legislative committee is seeking public input about the quality and overall value of New Hampshire's higher education system.

The Public Higher Education Study Committee is trying to determine whether students leave school with critical thinking skills, personal and professional development and the ability to repay student loan debt. Republican state Sen. John Reagan, the committee's chairman, says the panel is looking for individual stories that illustrate the quality of the education students receive in New Hampshire.

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The New Hampshire job market is expected to keep growing at a modest clip, according to projections released by the New Hampshire Employment Security agency. 

In the next two years, the agency predicts the service industry, healthcare, and administrative jobs will account for much of the growth.

Courtesy of SNHU

Two years ago, Southern New Hampshire University began a new program, offering college degrees to refugees in Rwanda. Now, after graduating its first class last month, the school is expanding the program from one refugee camp to five.

Eddie Cheuk

New Hampshire's Attorney General Gordon MacDonald recently announced a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations at St. Paul's School, in Concord. We discussed recent local stories involving private schools such as St. Paul's, as well as the broader culture in elite boarding schools that may contribute to this issue.  And we talked with a N.H. lawmaker who says she'll be working on changing laws to better protect victims of sexual violence.  


Tracy Lee Carroll; NHPR

We're talking with the three candidates who want to be the next state senator from District 16. The issues they're talking about impact all of the Granite State, including public education, child protection, taxes, and workforce development. 


Amanda Loder, StateImpact New Hampshire

Laurie Laizure of Manchester likes to think she’s the kind of parent who’s engaged in what’s happening at her kids' schools.

Which is why she was so surprised to learn, when scrolling through Facebook last month, about a sexual assault that took place at Manchester West High School. In 2015, a 14-year-old student — a classmate of Laizure's daughter — was raped by an older student in a secluded hallway during school hours.

NHPR

In the nearly 20 years since  state the Supreme Court issued its landmark Claremont II decision calling for equal access to an adequate education, significant disparities among communities persist, according to a recent report by the N.H. Center for Public Policy Studies.

Claremont School District v Governor of New Hampshire led to the allocation of additional state money for communities in need, yet these districts still lack sufficient funds from local resources such as property taxes. 

Paying for Public Schools

Jul 12, 2017
NHPR

Almost twenty years after a court ruling that was supposed to radically alter education funding, a new report says not much has changed. And, it says, poor and rural towns could be in for a bigger hit in terms of state dollars in the near future. We'll find out more, including what the report calls a "new education normal."

  

Several organizations are coming together to address what they say has been an abrupt and sharp decline in basic historical knowledge among New Hampshire students.

New Hampshire Historical Society president Bill Dunlap sounded the alarm in an op-ed earlier this month, saying this knowledge deficit could have dramatic consequences for the state.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire students may soon be brushing up on their state history. A new law will require New Hampshire high school students to take one credit of history and a half credit of civics as a prerequisite for graduation.

Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a former civics teacher, sponsored the bill. He says chronic low voter turnout in the U.S. is a symptom of poor civics education.

Peter Crowley via Flickr CC

Lead tests will be required for all students entering kindergarten and pre-k in Claremont schools this fall.

The district is believed to be the first in New Hampshire to require the screenings for students.

Claremont is one of several communities where health officials recommend that all children be screened, largely because of its older housing stock. Lead paint can be poisonous to children even in tiny amounts.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Governor Chris Sonunu signed a controversial school funding bill, known as the Croydon bill, into law Thursday. 

Districts will now be allowed to use tax money to send students to private schools if there's no public option in the district. Religious schools, however, are excluded.

Last week, lawmakers in Concord signed off on a plan to provide state support for full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire. The new law will use revenue from the electronic gambling game keno to give school districts more money for full-day kindergarten.

NHPR reporter Jason Moon recently sat down with NHPR host Sally Hirsch-Dickinson to talk about what this mean for schools and town across New Hampshire. Listen to their conversation here.

www.graniteymca.org

The weather’s heating up, which means New Hampshire schools are letting out for the summer.

But for many students, especially those from low-income families, those two months away from the classroom can often lead to regression when they return in the fall.

A program in Manchester aimed at curbing that summer slide is expanding this year, with more than 100 middle school students taking part at no cost to families.

On Thursday, a proposal to spend state money on full-day kindergarten heads to a final vote.

The bill, which pays for additional state spending on kindergarten by taxing keno, is making for tough decisions on both sides of the aisle.

New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies

A new report shows disparities in school funding in New Hampshire persist, two decades after a landmark lawsuit targeted the state’s education funding system.

jdurham / Morguefile

River Valley Community College, based in Claremont, is launching two new programs in computer science and information technology. The move is an attempt by the college to better tailor its offerings to the needs of local employers. 

"There are actually companies that are very, very concerned about not finding the right talent in the state," said Ali Rafieymehr, interim president and vice president of academic affairs at RVCC.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Republicans took full control in Concord this year, they wasted no time outlining an ambitious policy agenda on a number of fronts, including education.

While Republicans were able to accomplish much of that agenda, they weren’t able to get everything they wanted. Here’s a rundown of some major developments in education policy so far this year.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Dozens of people showed up to the State Board of Education meeting Thursday morning. They came to weigh in on a proposal to reevaluate the state standards on math and English.

Board members heard from parents, teachers, and business leaders on a request made by Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut to reevaluate the state standards in math and English. These standards define what students should know, and help shape what actually gets taught in the classroom.

John DePetro was among those in favor of a review.

Jason Moon for NHPR

With 14,000 students from a huge variety of backgrounds, the Manchester School District is both the largest and most diverse in the state.

But those distinctions come with challenges that sometimes result in stark disparities between schools just a few miles apart.

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

Budget writers in the N.H. House are eyeing the lottery game Keno as a way to fund full day kindergarten. The state senate has always opposed Keno and Governor Sununu says he's yet to see the details of the plan.

Eddie Cheuk

A revered debate coach and one-time head of the Advanced Studies Program who groped and exposed himself to multiple female students.

A history teacher and cross-country coach who sexually assaulted, massaged and propositioned multiple male students. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

 

It’s a pregnant moment for state education policy. Republicans control Concord, and Gov. Chris Sununu ran on a promise to change how education is delivered here. Key aspects of that debate – full-day kindergarten, broad school choice, and the power of the state education commissioner were all debated Tuesday by lawmakers. But the message was mixed, and decidedly less conservative than last year's election results would suggest.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Lawmakers in the House put the brakes on a sweeping school choice bill that would have allowed parents to use public money for private school and homeschool expenses.

The House Education Committee voted to retain the bill, which means it is effectively dead for the current session.

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers will debate a controversial education bill Tuesday that would allow parents to use state tax dollars to pay for private school tuition and homeschool expenses.

The bill is testing how far and how fast school choice advocates are willing to go in implementing their agenda.

Wednesday night, the Manchester school board will vote on proposals that would change how students move from one school to another.

This overhaul of what's known as the feeder pattern is just one part of a larger redistricting process that the city has been struggling to accomplish for nearly a decade.

NHPR reporter Jason Moon spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello about the process, and why it's been so fraught for so long.

Flickr

A Senate bill proposes allowing parents to use public education funds for alternative educational expenses, from private school tuition to computer equipment. A growing number of states have adopted such measures but not without plenty of debate.  We'll take a look at that discussion here, and around the country. 


Jason Moon for NHPR

During a swing through the Seacoast Friday morning, Governor Chris Sununu stopped by the local Opioid Task Force in Dover.

Reflecting on the crisis, he said the state could be doing better with drug prevention programs for kids in school.

“To be blunt, when the 65 year old gray-haired comes in to a bunch of 5th and 6th graders, or even high schoolers…’just say no’. That message ain’t cutting it. No one is listening to that,” said Sununu.

Sununu said the state Department of Education should start playing a role in developing better programs.

FLICKR/ F OHanlon

A bill that would require parents to get advance notice before sex-related course material is taught in the classroom has passed the state Senate and now heads to the Governor.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5p1N5a

A New Hampshire House subcommittee voted Wednesday to eliminate $18 million dollars in kindergarten funding from Gov. Chris Sununu’s state budget proposal. 

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