Juliana Robidoux via ManchesterInkLink.com

Next month, a primary election in Manchester will narrow an unusually crowded field of candidates seeking to unseat three-term mayor Ted Gatsas. The race has been roiled by Gatsas’s recent decision to nix a contract with the city’s teachers union. The move has enraged the educators, who have been working without a contract — and without raises — for the past two years, and it’s given new ammunition to the mayor’s rivals.

Does Homework Matter? N.H. Educators Weigh In

Aug 3, 2015
Marco Nedermeijer / Flickr/CC

The emerging focus in New Hampshire on what’s called “competency-based” education, emphasizes mastery of a subject over time in class or number of worksheets completed.  But traditional homework has many defenders, who say it solidifies class learning and fosters good study habits.

  This program was originally broadcast on January 8, 2015.


Colleen P. via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/nBkdFS

It was a long hard winter – but temperatures are finally climbing and bird song is erupting across New Hampshire. Today is Bird Day and we’ll talk about the sounds of spring migration – and hear how you can keep traveling birds from flying into your windows. Plus, an amateur photographer and creator of the #WorstBirdPic Meme comes to terms with the fact that 99% of his bird photos are blurry.

And two spring traditions come together in a new project that’s just sprouted at Fenway Park: an organic rooftop garden. 

Peter Dutton via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pEWwCa

To protect children from predators, some schools have rules against physical contact so strict that students can be sent to the principal’s office for holding hands or high-fiving. On today’s show – are schools being too touchy about physical contact?

And a reporter profiles the inaugural class of Thiel fellows – twenty teenagers who were given one-hundred thousand dollars to drop out of higher education and pursue success as young entrepreneurs.

Plus a columnist and comedian argues college kids today can’t take a joke. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


A high school music teacher in Windham, New Hampshire, has received the 2015 Grammy Music Educator award.

Related: Click here to listen to Rick Ganley's conversation with Cassedy, recorded in December after he was chosen as one of ten finalists.


A new book explores the tumultuous history of public education: from racial integration, to unions and teacher-tenure, to standardized tests and charter schools. We’re sitting down with writer Dana Goldstein to discuss why the profession has long been so fraught, and how it’s affected the schooling of our kids. 


Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

As early as next year, college students in New Hampshire teacher preparation programs will be taking a new test. It’s known as the TCAP, and all 14 of the state’s teacher education schools are adopting it voluntarily. While some states have opted to sign on to tests designed elsewhere, the Granite State has blazed its own trail when it comes to creating what has been compared to a bar exam for teachers.

Every student teacher who has graduated from UNH knows about the Portfolio. It was a collection of reams of lesson plans, tests, handouts; the artifacts of teaching.

The North Country Teacher Certification Program is a collaboration between Plymouth State University and White Mountains Community College. The program aims to increase the number of highly qualified teachers in the North Country. 

Amelia Alton was a pre-school teacher with more than 20 years of experience, who wanted to be a classroom teacher, “I always wanted to try my hand at the first and second grade level. But, I needed a different certification.” In 2010, with the help of the NCTCP, Alton went back to college and received her certification.

EasternMennoniteUniversity / Flickr Creative Commons

We finish a two-part series on the teaching profession, with a look at how we prepare our teachers.  After criticism claiming credentialing standards in the U.S. are lax, many states, including New Hampshire, are trying to raise the bar and turn out more qualified teachers. Some say more in-classroom experience is key. But there are challenges to such changes, including the expense.  


the_exploratorium via Flickr Creative Commons

Produced with Phoebe Axtman and Zach Nugent

Mounting research has shown that the most important factor in a child’s successful education is not his or her socioeconomic status, class size, or even the design of the curriculum…. it’s the teacher.  But teacher dropout rate is high and the highly talented teachers are too few, especially in Science and Math.

In part five of the StateImpact series “Getting By, Getting Ahead” reporter Amanda Loder talks with a recently laid-off teacher in the Merrimack Valley. In this series, StateImpact is traveling across New Hampshire, gathering personal stories from the people behind the economy.

There have been two very distinct trends during the economic recovery: the first has been very slow growth in private sector hiring. The second has been a series of losses in public sector jobs, from state employees to firefighters to schoolteachers.

Most people agree that good teachers help students succeed.
But how do good teachers learn to be effective?

One D.C.-based, private nonprofit is asking just that. They want colleges to participate in a study that ranks teacher preparation programs.