Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire’s congressional delegation will be among those on hand for the opening of a Job Corps center today in Manchester.

The facility will provide vocational training to 300 students ages 16 to 24. 

The effort to build the center began in 2001, but construction stalled several years ago over contract language that would have required that it be built by union labor.

The agreement was later lifted, and construction began in 2013.

Patrick / Flickr/CC

The number of homeschooling families in New Hampshire and nationwide continues to grow, and they’re more diverse: including families with a wider range of political, religious, and educational approaches. But even as this group expands, it is less regulated by the states, sparking debate on how much oversight is needed. 

The show was originally broadcast on September 22, 2015.


Brady Carlson / NHPR

The candidates for mayor of Manchester squared off in their first face-to-face forum Thursday night. Incumbent three-term Mayor Ted Gatsas is being challenged by Joyce Craig, a veteran alderman.

The two presented starkly contrasting visions for the state’s largest city. 

The forum took place at an elementary school — an appropriate setting considering that education was a running theme through the evening.

Craig, a Democrat, faulted Gatsas for large class sizes and other problems in Manchester’s schools. 

File Photo

Custodians in Nashua and their supporters are expected to hold a rally Monday evening ahead of a school board meeting to protest the board’s decision to end their union contract.

In a move that took many by surprise, the board voted 7-1 earlier this month to seek bids from private contractors to take over the district’s custodial services — and union members aren’t taking the move sitting down. 

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."

Manchester School District


A preschool teacher in Manchester has been named the 2016 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

Ashley Preston, who teaches at Parker Varney Elementary School, becomes the state's candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Preston has been teaching for nine years, all of them in the Manchester School District. The Department of Education says the selection committee recognized her ability to help her students be curious, critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Paul Townsend via Flickr CC /

Harvard, like other prestigious Ivy League schools, is a non-profit. Still, its 36-billion dollar endowment is bigger than the GDP of Jamaica. So why does it remain tax free? Then - meditation, sitting, mindfulness: whatever you call it, it’s springing up everywhere, from Google’s corporate offices to high school classrooms in the Bronx. But can techniques developed to help hospital patients really improve the lives of low-income students? We find out why mindfulness has a place in the classroom. Plus, music industry insiders clamor to predict and announce the summer’s most popular hit – but what about the song of the fall?  We’ll discuss the qualities that make up a classic autumnal anthem. 

9.15.15: Mindfulness in Schools & The Song of the Fall

Sep 15, 2015
Fuzzy Gerdes via Flickr CC /

Meditation, sitting, mindfulness: whatever you call it, it’s springing up everywhere - from Google’s corporate offices to high school classrooms in the Bronx. But can techniques developed to help hospital patients really improve the lives of low-income students? Today, why mindfulness has a place in the classroom. Plus, music industry insiders clamor to predict and announce the summer’s most popular hit – but what about the song of the fall?  We’ll discuss the qualities that make up a classic autumnal anthem. 

9.08.15: A Neurodiversity Primer & Miranda July

Sep 8, 2015
Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr CC /

The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Today, the author of a new book on the science of autism gives us a primer on the neurodiversity movement. Then, Miranda July may be known for her quirky role in the 2005 film Me and You and Everyone We Know but the actress and artist has since written a debut novel which borrows heavily from her personal life. 

lungstruck via Flickr CC /

Machines will soon take over for humans and slog through the dirty work, leaving people free to do whatever they choose in a world without work. We talk about what a post-job society might look like, and how we might prepare for it. Then, from 9 to 5 to The Office, we’ve got plenty of examples of cookie-cutter cubicles where workers toil away in soul-crushing boredom and fatigue. On today’s show: in defense of office life. Plus, we discover a class that brings a serious approach to leisure. 

You could say 36-year-old Matt Ray works in paradise — on a barrier island off the Florida's southern coast. As athletic director of the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Ray is doing what he loves.

"I grew up playing sports," he says. "I actually played two years of college basketball. So sports have pretty much been my entire life."

Nathan Rupert via flickr CC /

As schools across the country struggle to meet the new national common core standards, one controversial aspect of education is not part of the curriculum: sex education. On today’s show: the evolving debate around sex ed, and why it’s not strictly an American phenomenon. Plus, from false confessions to inadequate defenses, wrongful convictions can happen for many reasons. We’ll look at faulty eyewitness testimonies, the number one contributing cause of wrongful convictions.

peter honeyman via Flickr CC /

Demanding trigger warnings? Canceling speakers? Shutting down comedians? College students today make the political correctness of the past seem tame. Today we’re asking: is oversensitivity ruining education? We’ll also look at the roots of extreme protectiveness in a nation where police officers are stationed at more and more high schools with a story about what happens when school discipline meets law enforcement. And, a job you may have thought was already obsolete – we’ll learn why the humble stenographer may be one of the most essential – and under-appreciated people in the courtroom.

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?

Students are about to return to their classrooms after a long summer break. One thing their teachers are all wondering: how much did they forget over the vacation?

Joel Telling via Flickr CC /

Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes in American history, but hardly one of the strongest to hit the Gulf Coast or the city of New Orleans. Today, a look at the geography of poverty and how societal factors turn natural disasters into disproportionate catastrophes. Plus, a primer on gifted kids. Many parents try to nurture their child to bring out the very best, but some may be looking over signs that their child is truly exceptional. And, new research on an old question: do babies make new parents unhappy?

The conversation around early childhood education in New Hampshire today is often focused on the availability of half-day versus full-day kindergarten programs.

Governor Maggie Hassan weighed in when she spoke to NHPR in May:

"Full-day kindergarten would be a very important next step in making sure our young people have the kind of education that really prepares them for the 21st century global economy."

However, kindergarten here was not guaranteed until a 2007 law mandating public programs state-wide – making New Hampshire the last state in the nation to fully adopt public kindergarten.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Six GOP presidential candidates visited Londonderry High School Wednesday for a forum on K-12 education. The Republicans largely agreed that federal bureaucracy is behind many of the problems in public education and that more school choice is the solution.

NHPR staff photos

Six Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in an education summit at Londonderry High School on Wednesday.

The summit is being put on by American Federation for Children, a conservative school choice advocacy group.

Lauren Camera, a reporter for Education Week, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to help sort out where the candidates stand on K-12 education policy.


The Manchester Board of School Committee took a vote of 'no confidence' in Mayor Ted Gatsas at a meeting Monday night, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The 10-2 vote comes after Gatsas vetoed a three-year contract with city teachers.

School board members also asked aldermen to reconsider their vote on the agreement, and urged Gatsas, who chairs the school board, to recuse himself from a reconsideration vote.

School is still out for the summer, but at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C., students are hard at work — outdoors.

In a garden filled with flowers and beds bursting with vegetables and herbs, nearly a dozen teenagers are harvesting vegetables for the weekend's farmers market.

Giving Matters: Helping Kids Make Smart Decisions

Aug 8, 2015

The North Country Health Consortium’s offers a Youth Leadership Through Adventure program, serving kids in Coos and Grafton County. The program helps middle and high schools to create a healthy culture, develop leadership skills and avoid alcohol and other drugs. Tony Bolash is a student at Gorham High School, where students named the group “Inspire.”

Giving Matters: Supporting Students Working Toward a GED

Jul 25, 2015

Alexis Brophy is a college student, and already working in real estate. But she struggled to finish high school because of health issues, due to an auto-immune disease. Her disease “made it very hard to get through the traditional high school day. I have extreme fatigue, joint-swelling and pain. Everyday I wake up different.”

An Update on No Child Left Behind

Jul 24, 2015
butterflymosaics / Flickr CC

Fourteen years after the implementation of the education program, the federal government attempts to rework education standards from this controversial act. We'll look at how Common Core standards and NCLB overlap, or differ, and what changes this could bring to our school systems.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

Monday afternoon, high school students in a program with University of New Hampshire launched a weather balloon they designed and assembled themselves.

biologycorner / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Hassan signed House Bill 323 into law Wednesday, giving schools the choice to give the SAT or ACT to high school juniors in order to meet federal testing requirements.

Previously, all students in the state were required to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. 

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.

dcJohn / Flickr / Creative Commons

Physically restraining or secluding children at school is generally considered a last resort for educators, to keep the classroom safe. But recent reporting has revealed that these techniques are used more frequently than you might expect, and kids with disabilities are disproportionately affected. We dive into the discussion on when it is and isn’t appropriate to restrain kids in school.

Higher Ed In Crisis? What You Need To Know

Jul 6, 2015
saintvincentcollege / Flickr/CC

We’re talking with author Goldie Blumenstyk about her new book on the so-called “crisis” in American Higher Education. Blumenstyk  says given rising costs, student debt, and doubts about the value of a degree, crisis is a fair description -- but she also sees some exciting examples of campus innovations that may get us out of our College conundrum.

Giving Matters: Chemical Reactions at SEE Science Center

Jul 4, 2015

The SEE Science Center offers scientific explorations for all ages. Barnstead teacher Annie Bourque makes an annual trip with her 6th grade class to take advantage of the chemistry lab there.