Banfield:  Where's the independent, expert feedback?

By Ann Marie Banfield

Elections have consequences. Those who are elected to represent us make important decisions we all have to live with. This is why I decided to ask Lee Nyquist, candidate for New Hampshire Senate in District 9, important questions on Common Core.

Common Core is the newest education reform being pushed by the U.S. Department of Education and  has been implemented in New Hampshire public schools. After the failures of No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) one would think everyone would at least be cautious before supporting this latest reform initiative.   Unfortunately that wasn’t the case in New Hampshire along with other states that signed on to Common Core.

Academic standards are a benchmark for students to achieve at each grade level. Common Core Standards (CCSS) adopted in New Hampshire covers Math and English/Language Arts. Unfortunately the CCSS have come at a great cost to academic excellence, local control in education, privacy and it’s proving to be an expensive initiative with no track record of success.

Instead, as Common Core is being implemented, we are hearing from parents across the country who are alarmed by the develomentally inappropriate curriculum, over emphasis on testing and privacy concerns.

Because Governor Hassan has failed to lead New Hampshire to better quality academic standards, it’s important to look at candiates who will be running for election on November 4th.

Lee Nyquist is challenging Senator Andy Sanborn in Bedford, New Boston, Mont Vernon, Lyndeborough, Greenfield, Temple Sharon, Peterborough, Hancock, Dublin, Jaffrey, Troy, Fitzwilliam, and Richmond. Parents should be concerned about electing a State Senator or any representative who supports Common Core.

This is why I asked Lee Nyquist on his face book page:
What is your positon on Common Core? Data mining? The cost shift to local districts that Common Core has put on local taxpayers?

I posted that on October 8th and to this date, he has refused to answer those questions. If this is how a candidate treats his constituents when running for office, how would he address parents if he were elected?

Education has to be one of the most important issues parents are concerned about. New Hampshire Senators should have a solid understanding on what Common Core is all about and have a definitive position that we can look at.

Nyquist’s web site doesn’t address Common Core and he refuses to answer people who live in his district. Are we to conclude that he will not oppose Governor Hassan and demand better standards for our schools?

Common Core has also been dubbed “an attack on teachers” by many educators. Why? Because the Feds are pushing for a teacher’s evaluation to be tied to standardized test scores.
The Common Core math curriculum has parents and teachers shocked by what their kids are learning. There are Common Core Math examples available for parents to review by conducting a simple google search. However when we hear about Engineers and Harvard Grads grappling with how to answer a 2nd grade math question, everyone should be concerned.

Confusing children in mathematics or expecting them to struggle can kill the love of learning in young children. This is why Cognitive Child Psychologists have also been warning parents about the nature of the standards. From being developmentally inappropriate to teachers actually calling this child abuse, someone needs to stop this latest reform and lead our schools to something better.

That is not being done under Governor Hassan’s leadership and we are fortunate that Senator Sanborn is willing to put our teachers and students first.

Lee Nyquist? His refusal to answer these questions and his adherence to Governor Hassan certainly leads one to assume he has no intention of opposing Common Core and helping students and teachers.

Candidates running for office shouldn’t hide from their positions. They should state what they support/oppose so voters know what they can expect.

I have to wonder again, if Nyquist ignores voters now, what would he be like as our senator? I know this, I would rather NOT find out.

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